Cathedral of Catania, Catania

Cathedral of Catania, Catania (must see)

Agatha was a pious virgin from a noble Catania family in 231 AD. The Roman prefect Quintianus made amorous moves on her. She rebuffed him. He martyred her. But things went bad for Quintianus. His horse kicked him in the river. He hasn't been seen since.

The Cathedral of Catania, also known as Cathedral of Saint Agatha, stands in the Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo). It is built in Italian Baroque style. The facade was fashioned in 1700 after a devastating earthquake in 1693. It has three levels with niches and columns of Corinthian granite.

The main entrance has a carved wooden door showing 32 plaques of the life of the Saint. The dome was created in 1802. The bell tower is a rebuilt. A parvis with a white stone balustrade harbors five statues of saints in Carrara marble.

The interior has a Latin Cross plan and three naves. The apse dates from the 12th century. In the north transept is the Chapel of the Holy Crucifix. The cathedral holds the tombs of Vincenzo Bellini, the great Italian composer, and King Frederick III, John of Randazzo and Constance of Aragon.

They say Saint Agatha protects Sicily against enemies, corrupt officials and even Mount Etna. Carved into the facade of the cathedral are the letters N.O.P.A.Q.V.I.E. which are the initial letters of each word in a sentence in Latin that says "Agatha will revenge any injustice perpetrated by those who offend her land".

A promise that has been kept for 1,800 years.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Catania. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Cathedral of Catania on Map

Sight Name: Cathedral of Catania
Sight Location: Catania, Italy (See walking tours in Catania)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Catania, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Catania

Create Your Own Walk in Catania

Creating your own self-guided walk in Catania is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Catania Introduction Walking Tour

Catania Introduction Walking Tour

The old Sicilian word "katane" is often translated as "harsh ground" or "sharp stones." Black lava from Mount Etna has swamped the area many times. Other disasters include earthquakes, invasions and wars.

The original village of Katane was occupied by Greek settlers in the eighth century BC. During the first Punic War, Catania became a Roman city. The Vandals...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Historical Churches Walking Tour

Historical Churches Walking Tour

Just as many other Italian destinations, the Sicilian city of Catania is full of churches, especially in the historic center, where the presence of religious sites is particularly high! A good number of local churches date back centuries, and as such represent marvelous pieces of architecture, adding much character to the area. It is also commonplace to find inside most of them, be it a duomo,...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles