Basilica of Santa Lucia del Mela

The Co-Cathedral Basilica of Santa Lucia del Mela, dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta, is the main place of worship in the city.
The primitive place of worship was erected by Roger I of Sicily and was dedicated to Santa Lucia, as a vow of thanks for the victory of the battle sustained against the Saracens. Very little has come to light on the millenary history of Ruggero's sacred temple. Over the centuries, it was subject to innumerable reconstructions, renovations and expansions.
The gabled facade has a compact and severe style. It is divided by four pilasters, left in stone up to the upper cornice of the second order and surmounted by capitals with mouldings, which form the vertical ribs of the façade.
The central portal is of particular value, the oldest of the three on the facade. The central portal characterizes the entire prospectus, rising above the two minor side entrances and standing out for its decorations: two slender twisted columns frame the entrance up to the sturdy architrave bearing the crowned eagle with coat of arms and crown, indicating that the building belonged to Regio Patronage. Pinnacles, tassels with fringes, lateral and symmetrical volutes with exclusively ornamental and decorative functions, delimit a lunette depicting a Madonna with Child between the Sicilian saints Lucia and Agatha, all surmounted by the figure of the Almighty blessing.
The interior of the co-cathedral is in the Renaissance style of Brunelleschi derivation, with a Latin cross plan. The hall is divided into three naves divided by two rows of round arches resting on Tuscan stone columns. The arches are decorated with stuccos as is the barrel vault with lunettes in the three rooms.
In the middle of the central nave, on the right, there is a valuable Baroque wooden pulpit and on the same side, under the triumphal arch, the five wooden benches of the Luciese Senate from 1748< /strong> surmounted by the red velvet drape with the imperial eagle of Frederick II of Swabia from 1791. In correspondence with the latter, on the opposite side, there is the neo-Romanesque complex in polychrome marble of the bishop's chair.
Of particular interest it is the large wooden choir finely carved in walnut, attributed to Giovanni Gallina from Nicosia 1685. It consists of a double order of stalls arranged in two distinct rows connected to each other by a few steps. The entire square-based composition features countless decorations including putti, decorative bundles and griffins, the latter placed in separating the stalls from one another, creating a suggestive and elegant symmetry of elements. In the center we find the pyramid-shaped lectern which once contained the choral books, large manuscript volumes in finely crafted parchment.
Of particular value is the statue of the patron Saint Lucia attributed to Francesco Laurana.

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