Church of the Most Holy Crucifix in Monreale
The Church of the Santissimo Crocifisso of Monreale, also known as the Sanctuary of the Collegiata, is a very important place of worship in the city. The sacred building stands at the foot of Monte Caputo, on a hill from which you can admire the imposing architectural complex of the Cathedral with its adjoining Benedictine cloister and the vast Conca d'oro.
It existed on this site, since the 1450, a rural church, dedicated to the Holy Savior. With the multiplication of families and the spread of the cult of the Holy Crucifix, the need was felt to enlarge the small church, adding various chapels, including the one dedicated to the venerated image of Jesus Crucified.
In the early 1700s, thanks to the legacies of the devotees , the Chapter entrusted the architect Fra Mariani with arranging the Church. On this occasion, the first floor was created with majolica ceramic tiles and polychrome ornamental designs. Some traces can still be seen today under the stalls of the wooden choir and in the basement floor of the central nave. In May 1801 the church was paved with marble bricks, on the occasion of the visit of Ferdinand III of Bourbon, king of the two Sicilies.
The stuccos of the master Giacomo Serpotta are of considerable value: the two large statues placed on the sides of the main altar and originally depicting two Evangelists, later adapted to depict one the Apostle Peter and the other the Apostle Paul; all the capitals and the two angels above the tympanum of the chapel above the main altar. Other stuccos have recently been found around the original windows of the central nave hidden later in the 19th century due to the lowering of the vault. These have been exhumed and are in excellent condition.
Inside the church is the Crucifix with the "Patruzzu amurusu" which miraculously saved the citizens from the plague. The church is particularly famous because it is linked to the feast of the Holy Crucifix.