Sicily

Day 5 - Churches to the south of the city walls


Two small churches to the south of the city walls


The CHURCH OF ST ANTHONY ABATE (St Anthony the Great) is a small rough stone church just outside Porta Catania. This was originally built around 1330, but was almost destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943. it has been rebuilt from the rubble.

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina

It is now decommissioned and  has a large model of the nativity across the end of the church. This is based on Taormina and there are the remains of the Greek theatre, streets with stepped alleyways off them and shops. The butcher’s shop even has meat hanging up outside it.

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina
 
In a glass case are small figures made from clay and plaster of Sicilian Shepherds dating from the early C18th.

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina

Set in a niche with a bank of candles in front is a statue of the Virgin Mary.

Church of St Anthony Abate, Taormina
 
The CHURCH OF ST MICHAEL is another small, simple stone church built below the town on Via Roma. This dates from around 1600 but agin was destroyed by Allied bombing in 1943 and has been rebuilt. It was reopened for worship in 2011.

Church of St Michael, Taormina

Inside it is a simple and unspoilt church with whitewashed plaster walls. The only light is through two small windows high in the walls and another above the door. Above the altar is St Michael killing the dragon, representing the devil.

Church of St Michael, Taormina

On the right wall is a statue of the Virgin and Child presenting a rosary to a kneeling figure.

Church of St Michael, Taormina

Some of the original carved corbels supporting the roof have been recycled and support the beams of the roof.

Church of St Michael, Taormina

There is also an old grave slab from the original church set in the floor. An open grille covers the steps down to the crypt.

Church of St Michael, Taormina

The CONVENT OF ST DOMENICO just below St Michael's Church was claimed by the state in 1896 and is now an up market hotel. The church was destroyed by bombing in 1943 and has been rebuilt as a conference centre.

Convent of San Domenico, Taormina

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