Noto Cathedral

Noto, Italy

Noto Cathedral construction, in the style of the Sicilian Baroque, began in the early 18th century and was completed in 1776. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, and has been the cathedral of the Diocese of Noto since the diocese's establishment in 1844.

The cathedral dome collapsed in 1996 as a result of unremedied structural weakening caused by an earthquake in 1990, to which injudicious building alterations in the 1950s may have contributed. It has since been rebuilt, and was reopened in 2007.

The façade, the composition of which is comparable to those of the church of Notre-Dame, Versailles, and the pre-revolutionary church of Saint-Roch in Paris, was started in late 1767 (the nearby campanile bears the date 1768) to designs of about 1740 by Gagliardi.

In the 19th century the dome had to be reconstructed twice, ending up as a Neo-Classical construction, after collapses caused by earthquakes. In the 1950s much refurbishment was carried out, not entirely successfully, for example the trompe-l'oeil of the vertical elements and the tempera decoration of the vaults by the painters Arduino and Baldinelli, as well as major alterations to the high altar and the organ. Most serious however was the replacement of the original pitched roof of the nave by a heavy loft of Roman brick and concrete which was probably one of the causes of the collapse of 1996.

The exterior is of pale yellow limestone, in the Sicilian Baroque style. In front of the cathedral are four statues of saints on pillars. On the left tower is mounted the church bell, and on the right tower a clock. In the central tower, there is a large window. There are also three doors. Over the crossing is the large central dome.

The interior is now simply painted white, as the 18th century interior decoration was destroyed in the collapse. The principal features and furnishings are those consecrated on 13 January 2011, as above.

The cathedral houses the relics of Saint Corrado Confalonieri, patron saint of the city of Noto.



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Founded: 1776
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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User Reviews

majid ghassemian (2 months ago)
A beautiful cathedral, and definitely worth a stop at Noto to see it
Los Notes (5 months ago)
Very beautiful Cathedral. Even from the outside, it’s picturesque. Worth visiting inside. There is quite a few steps to go up, there might be another entrance on the side but still up a hill.
Liu Dang (9 months ago)
Beautiful interior, this is a must visit. Amongst the Italian countryside, from now and there are these scattered gems. With history dating back hundreds of years, this building is the perfect place to learn about the history of the island, its culture and the architecture surrounding the building. The high roof and art painted onto the structure really bring out the feeling and grandness of the building. Perfect for photos and memories of Sicily. Location wise, it is the centre so expect bustling crowds and tourists. I recommend going in between 2:00-4:00 as it is the most quiet before the evening rush. Outside are many statues and cafes so you can survive the heat. Awesome and awe inspiring place.
Berat Sucu (9 months ago)
Generally speaking, Noto was one of the best places we visited in Sicily. The historical part of the city is a wide street closed to traffic and full of joy. The cathedral looks amazing, especially from the outside. Worth visiting to spend a nice evening.
Berele (13 months ago)
Stunning architecture surrounded by a sleepy little town that's as charming as a fairy tale. The cathedral is beautifully preserved and will give you ample possibilities for great photos. After, walk across the street to have a gelato and a shot of espresso, and just people watch.
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