The Church of the Eremitani, or Church of the Hermits, is an Augustinian church of the 13th century. It was built in 1276 and dedicated to the saints Philip and James; it is however best known as degli Eremitani from the annexed old monastery, which now houses the municipal art gallery.
The chapel of SS. James and Christopher (Ovetari Chapel), formerly illustrated by Mantegna's frescoes, was largely destroyed by the Allies in World War II, because it was next to a German headquarters. There are more than 88000 fragments covering only 77 m2, while the original area covered several hundreds. Other artists whose frescoes are preserved in the church include Guariento and Ansuino da Forlì.
The church contains the tombs of Jacopo II da Carrara (d.1351) and Ubertino da Carrara (d.1345) da Carrara, lords of Padua, both by Andriolo de Santi (de Sanctis) and others. They were formerly in the church of Sant'Agostino, but were moved here after that church was razed in 1819.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.