Luogo - Religious building

Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore

Where Via Galliano, 331, Ispica (Ragusa)

The Basilica of St. Mary the Greater was built after the earthquake of 1693, with the stones of the old church. Over the years the building began to grow: in 1696 have already been completed, in addition to the altar of the Blessed Christ at the Column, also the high altar; the work continued under the guidance of Rosario Gagliardi, that completed it in 1725. In 1749 Vincenzo Sinatra ended the porch, and between 1750 and 1761 Giuseppe Gianforma completed the stucco. The Ispica's Marquis Francesco Saverio Statella, then gave the job to Olivio Sozzi to paint the entire Church with images of the New and Old Testaments. Thanks to the collection of paintings and frescoes, in 1908 the Church was declared a "National Monument", considered one of the great masterpieces of painting of the eighteenth century in Sicily. The Basilica will fit in the late Baroque style, along with the Churches of Noto, Ragusa and Modica: the facade is simple and straightforward, with Ionic and Corinthian capitals; at the center, a large window lintel flanked by two statues of St.Gregory and St. Rosalia. The bell tower was built in the early eighteenth century. The interior has a Latin cross, with three naves separated by pillars, including four chapels: the right one is kept in the image of Christ at the Column, the object of great devotion during Holy Week; in the left, the image of the Blessed Assumption.

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