Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa
The Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla is one of the most evocative works of Sicilian Baroque and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site .
The church before the 1693 earthquake stood at the east end of the town, near the current garden Ibleo, where the great fifteenth-century portal still stands today, in Spanish Gothic style, the only remaining vestige of the ancient temple. Following the earthquake, a large room was built adjacent to the old temple, in which to perform the functions. Only at the end of the eighteenth century, it was decided to transfer the church to the site of the old one of San Nicola, which originally had been the parish of the faithful of the Greek rite and later, passed to the Latin rite, had become the Church of San Giorgio. The current church was thus built starting in 1739 on a project by Rosario Gagliardi. The project carried out finds correspondence in the models of Northern Europe.
The church is located at the end of a high staircase and is rotated with respect to the square below , a feature that accentuates the grandeur and plastic effects. A large wrought iron gate is grafted onto the staircase.On pedestals, along the perimeter of the staircase, are the statues of the twelve apostles, called by the people "santoni" .
The tower facade incorporates the bell tower in the façade and ends with a bulbous spire, recalling the seventeenth-century wooden tabernacles of Capuchin churches. Two groups of three columns mark the three parts of the facade. Two pairs of volutes form the link between the different levels hosting, respectively, the statues of San Giorgio and San Giacomo below, and those of San Pietro and San Paolo above. On the cusp, under the cross, we read the date 1775, which indicates the conclusion of the works on the facade. The large portal has a mixed-line frame, rich in friezes and reliefs with plant motifs, while the wooden doors have a precious sculptural decoration, in six panels, with the depiction of episodes of the martyrdom of San Giorgio, a work of 1793 by Vincenzo Fiorello. < br> The interior, in the shape of a Latin cross, is divided into three naves by ten sturdy stone pillars, with a wide plinth in pitch. At the intersection of the transept with the central nave, the dome of neoclassical style rises, with a double cap, resting on two rows of columns.
The church houses various eighteenth-century works by important artists such as D 'Anna, Tresca, and Manno.
The Cathedral houses the Museum of Sacred Art of Ragusa.