Sanctuary of Santa Maria del Carmine in Messina
The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Carmelo di Messina, also known as Chiesa del Carmine, is the seat of the Messinese Carmelo , the first founded by the Carmelites outside the Palestine is therefore the oldest in the whole West, present in the city since the 1200s.
The sanctuary, which recalls the eighteenth-century style prior to the destruction of the earthquake, replaces the church of the same name which located near the Cathedral and destroyed in the 1908 earthquake. It was built in 1931 by Lorenzo Interdonato on a project by the architect Cesare Bazzani, he was inspired by Baroque architecture, enhanced by a beautiful scenographic arrangement in contact with the Palace of Justice, in one of the historic and main streets of Messina.
The octagonal-shaped church has a single central room and is covered by a dome frescoed inside by Adolfo Romano from Messina representing the Carmelite litanies. The interior is decorated with polychrome marble and pink marble columns surmounted by inlaid capitals. The dome of the church has a circular window on each of the eight facades and is surmounted by a quadrangular lantern.
The church contains seven chapels with relative altars: four ovoid at the four corners of it, two in the cross and one in the apse, which it contains the main altar.
Of considerable value is the ancient canvas of the Madonna del Carmelo which was exhibited on the altar for several centuries, but which is now kept in the museum regional, which according to tradition was brought by the first religious coming directly from Palestine. It represents the Virgin of Carmel according to the most ancient iconography: the Virgin is depicted welcoming her devotees under her large mantle, supported by the prophets Elijah and Elisha, considered by the Carmelites as their founders. A photographic copy is now on display in the church. Of particular interest is the church organ . Built by the famous Tamburini company of Crema and tested on January 30, 1954, the organ represents the most practical and perfected the organ-building art of the time could offer. It is certainly, after that of the Cathedral, among the most complete and beautiful in the city of Messina.