The Carlo al Corso church replaced an earlier church. This church likely designed by Rosario Gagliardi, was part of the town reconstruction after the 1693 Sicily earthquake.
The concave façade has three superimposed orders of columns, identified by their capitals from base to roofline as Doric, Ionic and Corinthian; in the progression expected in classical construction. The third story has floral oculus. The interior has a longitudinal layout with a barrel vault sustained by pilasters. The main altar was rescued from the prior church.
Inside the church, the 18th-century altarpieces display a Sacrifice of Isaac; a Flight into Egypt; a Deposition; San Carlo Borromeo ministering to those ill with the plague; a Virgin and Child with saints; Biblical Scene; St Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuit order; and wood icon of St Aloyitius Gonzaga, another Jesuit saint. The main altar is flanked by marble statues symbolizing Faith and Hope respectively, sculpted by Giuseppe Giuliano. The nave ceiling is frescoed by Costantino Carasi, depicting the Transfiguration and the Healing of the Paralytic, with a central panel depicting the Triumph of the Agnus Dei. The spandrels that support the dome are frescoed with the evangelists, and just below are four allegorical statues depicting the respective cardinal virtues.References:
Heraclea Lyncestis was an ancient Greek city in Macedon, ruled later by the Romans. It was founded by Philip II of Macedon in the middle of the 4th century BC. The city was named in honor of the mythological hero Heracles. The name Lynkestis originates from the name of the ancient kingdom, conquered by Philip, where the city was built.
Heraclea was a strategically important town during the Hellenistic period, as it was at the edge of Macedon"s border with Epirus to the west and Paeonia to the north, until the middle of the 2nd century BC, when the Romans conquered Macedon and destroyed its political power. The main Roman road in the area, Via Egnatia went through Heraclea, and Heraclea was an important stop. The prosperity of the city was maintained mainly due to this road.
The Roman emperor Hadrian built a theatre in the center of the town, on a hill, when many buildings in the Roman province of Macedonia were being restored. It began being used during the reign of Antoninus Pius. Inside the theatre there were three animal cages and in the western part a tunnel. The theatre went out of use during the late 4th century AD, when gladiator fights in the Roman Empire were banned, due to the spread of Christianity, the formulation of the Eastern Roman Empire, and the abandonment of, what was then perceived as, pagan rituals and entertainment.
In the early Byzantine period (4th to 6th centuries AD) Heraclea was an important episcopal centre. A small and a great basilica, the bishop"s residence, and a funerary basilica and the necropolis are some of the remains of this period. Three naves in the Great Basilica are covered with mosaics of very rich floral and figurative iconography; these well preserved mosaics are often regarded as fine examples of the early Christian art period.
The city was sacked by Ostrogoth/Visigoth forces, commanded by Theodoric the Great in 472 AD and again in 479 AD. It was restored in the late 5th and early 6th century. When an earthquake struck in 518 AD, the inhabitants of Heraclea gradually abandoned the city. Subsequently, at the eve of the 7th century, the Dragovites, a Slavic tribe pushed down from the north by the Avars, settled in the area. The last coin issue dates from ca. 585, which suggests that the city was finally captured by the Slavs. As result, in place of the deserted city theatre several huts were built.
The Episcopacy Residence was excavated between 1970 and 1975. The western part was discovered first and the southern side is near the town wall. The luxury rooms are located in the eastern part. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th rooms all have mosaic floors. Between the 3rd and 4th rooms there is a hole that led to the eastern entrance of the residence. The hole was purposefully created between the 4th and 6th century.