Chiesa del Purgatorio

Ragusa, Italy

The Chiesa del Purgatorio is dedicated to all saints and the souls in purgatory. It was first consecrated in 1658, erected under the patronage of the Mazza family. The earthquake that nearly levelled Ragusa, left this church mainly untouched, and in 1694, it took over some of the functions of the nearby church of San Giovanni, that had moved into a new district of Patro. In 1729, this church was placed under the jurisdiction of the church of San Giorgio.

A bell-tower was added in the early 18th-century. But too small for the district, in 1740, a new church was begun with a central nave and two chapels, separated by columns with Corinthian capitals (1741). The three order facade was completed in 1757, but the presbytery completed in 1787, when it underwent reconsecration.

The church is preceded by a steep staircase to a small piazza degli Archi. The chapels of the Holiest Sacrament and the Holiest Crucifix have altars respectively depicting St John the Evangelist and the Addolorata. The main altarpiece depicts Saints and Souls in Purgatory by Francesco Manno. The cornice has depictions of earthly glory interspersed with skulls as a Memento mori.

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Founded: 1658
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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