Mother Church of Avola
The Mother Church of Avola , dedicated to San Sebastiano and the city's main religious building, with its Baroque style, stands out in the splendid Piazza Umberto I in which it is located. The Mother Church of Avola is currently dedicated to San Sebastiano , but originally it was for San Nicolò .
It was one of the first structures to be rebuilt following the earthquake of 1693. What is most striking about this building is its particular architecture, showing itself differently according to the perspective: in the front view it almost recalls the splendor of a tower, but seen from above it recalls the shape of a cross.
The church was built about three months after the devastating earthquake of 1693, on the ruins of the previous church, totally destroyed, dating back to the early fourteenth century, the reconstruction took about 50 years. The Mother Church of Avola, after being entitled, from its origins, to San Nicolò, starting from 1986 was dedicated to San Sebastiano.
The baroque beauty of the Mother Church of Avola is already recognizable from the churchyard in which ten stand out Rococo-style pedestals on which sandstone statues are placed. The entrance portal is incorporated into an architectural system consisting of two columns resting on plinths, with Corinthian capitals, surmounted by a broken pediment within which the heraldic coat of arms of the Pignatelli Aragona family is inserted. Laterally there are the entrances to the secondary aisles, terminated at the top with broken curvilinear pediments with the heraldic coats of arms in the center and next to them symmetrically arranged there are the niches with the statues of the saints. The central body of the facade is divided into three orders, composing a suggestive tower enriched by columns, Corinthian capitals, decorations and surmounted by the belfry. The second order is connected to the ground floor with spiral-shaped volutes.
The interior, in the shape of a Latin cross, is divided into three naves by pillars surmounted by Corinthian capitals terminated at the top with the entablature of which the frame is carved with rosettes and leaves of acanthus. The vaults feature the sacrifice of Noah, while the walls are filled with works of art, with various statues and paintings.
Of considerable value are the statues kept in the niches of the transept, on the left, the statue of the Assumption, on the right, the statue of the Madonna del Lume and a wooden crucifix from the second half of the 17th century.