Basilica of the Visitation was built between 1715 and 1723. The basilica was given the status of a basilica minor by Pope Pius XI in 1936. The present basilica is located on a hill, where in the twelfth-century, stood a wooden figure of Mary, the Mother of God. According to a chronicle from 1218, the blind Jan from Raszewo regained his sight there. After the event, many pilgrims began visiting the area. Shortly afterwards, an altar, together with candlesticks and a baptismal font, was placed by the statue under the tree. In 1263, a wooden church was built on the hill.
In 1512, Ludwik von Panwitz raised a greater church, constructed out of brick. However, the church was destroyed during the Thirty Years' War. Between 1695 and 1711, a new church was built, but quickly began to crumble and was deconstructed in 1714. Between 1715 and 1723, another church was built by Count Franciszek Antony von Goetzen, which stands to the present day.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.