Cathedral of Noto
The Cathedral of Noto , dedicated to San Nicolò di Mira, is one of the greatest examples of Baroque art in Sicily and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site .
The church was built following the earthquake of 1693. Initially a first brick building was built which was opened for worship in 1703, only later was the construction of a new larger church that incorporated the previous one. In 1848 the dome collapsed and was rebuilt on a project by engineer. Cassone. On March 13, 1996 the church was again the subject of a disastrous collapse, which leveled the right aisle and the central nave. Thus, new reconstruction and restoration works were started.
The church stands at the top of a monumental and spectacular four-flight staircase, completed in the first half of the 19th century on a project by the architect Bernardo Labisi. The façade, which dominates Piazza Municipio, is characterized by a happy fusion of baroque and classical elements .
The facade is divided into two orders. In the first order we find eight columns with Corinthian capitals and a portal, with a bronze door, surmounted by the coat of arms of the city. The bronze door, the work of the sculptor G. Pirrone, depicts episodes from the life of San Corrado Confalonieri. In the second order on the sides of the central body there are two towers, the bell tower and the clock tower, and the statues of the Evangelists.
The interior, in the form of a Latin cross, houses a precious sixteenth-century silver ark containing the remains of the patron saint of the city Corrado Confalonieri; the chapel at the bottom of the left aisle is dedicated to the Blessed Sacrament and is adorned with refined stuccos and gilded friezes by the sculptor Giuliano da Palazzolo. In the mid-twentieth century the church had paintings in the apse and in the vault, the work of painters Bandinelli and Arduino, but these have been almost totally lost following the collapse. Currently, the interior is without decorations.