Basilica of San Sebastiano in Melilli

The Basilica of San Sebastiano di Melilli is today the main church and the living room of the city, the chosen place for social gathering and for almost all the main events that characterize the social, cultural and religious life of the city.
La church stands in the place where the primitive church of San Sebastiano once stood, destroyed by the earthquake of 1693; the simulacrum of San Sebastiano remained intact and of the primitive construction, built not far from the rocky site of the Grotta della Carcarella and placed on the back of the current church. Of the ancient building, only the columns survive that today are part of the structures of the parish rectory.
The church is located on the homonymous square, the largest in the city, where there is also the monumental eighteenth-century loggia , in white carving stone, born in 1695 for the holding of fairs.
The churchyard of the Church of San Sebastiano has geometric-floral motifs of high artistic value and is connected to the street level by two stone steps, adjacent to the structures located on the right side, close to the hill, where the monumental Loggiato begins.
The church has a majestic Baroque style facade made of jujube stone and divided into three orders. On each of the three orders the inscription "Templum Sancti Sebastiani Martyris" leads. In the first order, the three old wooden portals have now been replaced by as many in bronze. The main portal bears a martyrdom scene with arrows, while the minor entrances are marked by the presence of the symbols of martyrdom: arrows, palm and crown.
The interior of the church has a Latin cross plan divided into three naves by means of pillars, seven spans with round arches on each side, two side apses without transept. The vault of the main ship is embellished with paintings made between 1759 and 1763 by Olivio Sozzi: Gloria di San Sebastiano and the Blessed Virgin mediator of all Graces, two medallions depicting the Triumph of Faith and Peace and Justice, painted on canvas applied to the wood of the ceiling.
Inside the church there are works of particular artistic value. The statue of San Sebastian is noteworthy for its devotion and the exquisite craftsmanship expressed in the uniqueness of the forms. It is a work carved on wood, in whose manufacture the artist has remained attentive to the details of the human physiognomic proportions and the expressions of pain on the face. The venerated statue has a centuries-old history that links the Bimartyr statue to a series of miraculous events among the people, as evidenced by official documents. Every year, for the celebrations in honor of the patron saint, hundreds of faithful flock to venerate his statue.

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