The Church of San Esteban de Aramil is of the Romanesque style, popular between the 10th and 13th centuries, but the church itself cannot be dated more exactly. It was first mentioned in documents from 1240 concerning a donation of goods to the monastery of Valdediós by Alvar Diaz and his wife.
There are two theories concerning its origin; one is that it is the last remaining remnant of a monastery and the other is that it is a nobleman's church, which would have served both as the chapel for the castle and the church for the neighboring town.
The church has the classic features of Romanesque architecture; it has a rectangular nave terminated at the southern end by a semicircular apse. Sculptural ornamentation of the church includes the doors, located on the western side of the church and in the apse. The west door has a semicircular arch with two semiarches and screens that rely on separate columns. These columns are formed by shafts supported on bases that have carved lilies forming the columns' capitals, which are decorated with plant motifs. The southern section is less important in addition to being smaller although it is similar in design to the western door. The decor includes protruding sculptured heads, of Norman origin, showing various imaginary animals. There is a small central window in the apse.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.