Cattolica di Stilo

Stilo, Italy

The Cattolica was built in the 9th century, when Calabria was part of the Byzantine Empire. The name derives from the Greek word katholiki, which referred to the churches provided with a baptistery. It is one of the most important examples of Byzantine architecture, together with the church of San Marco in Rossano Calabro.

The Cattolica follow a plan with 'inscribed cross', typical of the middle Byzantine age. The interior is divided by four columns into five similar spaces. The square central space and the angled ones are covered by domes. The angled ones have tambours with the same diameter, while the central dome is slightly taller and larger.

The western sides lies on free rocks, while the southern area, ending with three apses, stands on three stone bases. The construction is in bricks.

The interior was once entirely covered with frescoes. The left apse has a bell built in 1577, when the church was converted to the Latin rite. The interior has also several inscriptions in Arabic, which have led scholars to suspect it could have been also used as a Muslim oratory.



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Via Cattolica 7, Stilo, Italy
See all sites in Stilo


Founded: 9th century AD
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.4/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Nelson Perez (11 months ago)
Beautiful normando church! Not a lot of information. There is a fee to enter and you have to pay it online but the gate staff was kind, he did all the job!
Wietse Dol (14 months ago)
Italian history. You can not skip it.
M Dick (2 years ago)
Wow I enjoyed my visit to this enchanting little place in Stilo. The church sits within the most amazing scenery and is well worth a visit. There is an entry fee but it wasn't much (can't remember the exact price). I managed to take some amazing photo's. You have to drive into Stilo to get to the church up the hill. But it is well signposted and easy to find also with satellite navigation. There is a cafe and gift shop in the grounds that sell the most amazing little keepsakes to take home and not expensive. There is free car parking in the grounds too. I found the staff very helpful and polite and even helped to take some photos for me. I would recommend a visit to this beautiful little hidden gem in Italy you will not be disappointed.
Francesca Berlen (2 years ago)
The view from here is nice. Unless you can get here easily, I wouldn't rate it. The church is tiny and inside there are a couple of mosaics to see.
Andrea Guatteri (3 years ago)
The village is wonderful, but the cattolica church was already closed at 18. Please stay open longer than this. I'll be back for sure.
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