Badia di Sant'Agata (Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata), Catania

Badia di Sant'Agata (Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata), Catania

Badia di Sant'Agata or Abbey of St Agatha is an 18th-century Baroque-style Roman Catholic church attached to the female convent, and is situated just across the street from the left transept of the Catania Cathedral.

The nunnery was founded in 1620, under the Benedictine rule, and was dedicated, along with a half-dozen local churches, to St Agatha of Sicily, patron of Catania. The original convent was razed by the 1693 earthquake, which killed 15 of the 28 nuns then present.

Reconstruction was slow, and was initially confined to building cloisters for the nuns and a fence around the perimeter.

In 1736, the construction of a new church, replacing the destroyed original, got underway to the design of Giovanni Battista Vaccarini. The façade was complete by 1742, featuring a 17th-century portal, designed by Giovanni Maria Amato, which had survived the earthquake. The octagonal dome was not complete until 1768. Inside the church there is a metal grill behind the main altar, with a viewing balcony allowing nuns to attend the mass, whilst being separated from the public. The base of the dome allows for views of the city and the looming volcano of Mount Etna.

The interior is an elongated octagon with white marble floors and yellow Castronovo marble, a material selected by the architect Nicolò Daniele. In 1782, Giovanni Battista Marino, Mario Biondo and Giovanni Battista Amato completed the stucco altarpiece statues in the side altars, featuring St Benedict, the Immaculate Conception, St Joseph, and St Euplio. The main altar has a Statue of Saint Agatha. Hung beneath the dome is a large glass chandelier.

The church consecration ceremony took place in 1796. The most recent renovation, from an earthquake damage sustained in 1990, was done in 2012.
Sight description based on Wikipedia.

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Badia di Sant'Agata (Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata) on Map

Sight Name: Badia di Sant'Agata (Church of the Abbey of Saint Agata)
Sight Location: Catania, Italy (See walking tours in Catania)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Catania, Italy

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