Agrigento Cathedral

Agrigento, Italy

Founded towards the end of the 11th century by Bishop Gerlando, this Norman-Gothic style Agrigento Cathedral was enlarged and remodelled several times as of the 14th and up till the 17th century, only preserving, of the original structure, its magnificent mullioned windows still visible on the right side. Its facade is accessed by a wide, easy staircase, flanked by the magnificent, unfinished 15th century belltower embellished by two sequences of blind, Gothic-Catalan mullioned windows and a window with a balcony surmounted by a beautiful, richly decorated pointed arch.

The interior, shaped like a Latin cross, has three naves divided by pointed arches standing on octagonal pillars, a magnificent, richly painted, wooden ceiling, portraying the two-headed eagle of Charles V and rich stuccoes and frescos giving the whole environment a certain sumptuousness. A small chapel of San Gerlando opens off to the right of the transept, surmounted by a finely modelled Gothic portal, and holds the Arc, a 1639 relic. We would like to point out the Chapel De Marinis in the left hand nave. In the right apse, a 1495 marble group of the Madonna with Child and several other grave monuments enriching this great monument’s magnificent interior.

Of outstanding importance the Cathedral Treasure, particularly rich in works of great historical and artistic value, including the famous sarcophagus of Phaedra, a stupendous, elegant, marble, Roman work of the 3rd century AD. inspired by the 5th century Greek style. Described and praised by all the great foreign travellers to Sicily in the 18th century, from Riedesel to Bartels, this masterpiece (currently kept in the Church of San Nicola) found in the Roman necropolis of Agrigentum, portrays some episodes from the myth of Phaedra and Hippolytus. Opposite the cathedral, in the same square, the Episcopal Seminary, founded by Bishop Narullo in 1574 and completed in 1611. Its interior includes a wide, elegant porticoed atrium with two sequences of loggias.

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Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

Rating

4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Arthit Yodyunyong (2 years ago)
Didn't have time to go inside. You have to pay for a ticket which includes the visit of the bell tower.
Alexander Wolf (2 years ago)
Really nice and helpful stuff there.
Christian Fantoni (2 years ago)
Amazing.... Beautiful place... What a view.... Rich of paintings and so much
David McGinity (3 years ago)
We walked across Agrigento in 36*c to arrive eventually at the Cathedral. Both of us in our seventies. We were blocked from entering without paying 3 Euros. We were subjected to a very hard sell by 2 young guys who were insistent that before we could step out of the heat we needed to pay. Very Christian! ! Big selling point? The chance to climb the bell tower! ! In that heat? After 10 minutes of discussion we were allowed to sit down in a side chapel but we're then hustled out. During this time several people came and refused to pay. If the Cathedral is in the tourist hassling business they should be more honest and accept that this is a business not a church.
Frederik Boin (3 years ago)
A beautiful church. For a little price you can enter the cathedral, the tower with its bells and the museum. It is worth a visit. The drawings under the ceiling are impressive and the windows are very colourful. The staff is very nice and speaks English very well. We liked it and it was worth the money and the hike up the streets.
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