Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena, Catania (must see)
The monastery was founded in 1558 and dedicated to San Nicolo "l'Arena." The monastery is in the center of town. It stands beside the Church of San Nicolo l'Arena. After the 1669 eruption of Mount Etna and the 1693 earthquake, the monastery was level with the ground.
Rebuilding commenced in 1702 and continued until the monastery was confiscated by the government in 1866. The current monastery rests on top of the original one (what was left of it). It has a new cloister and area designed by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini.
The original monastery used a square floor plan. A cloister in the center was called the "marble" cloister. It had a marble colonnade and a clover shaped fountain with refined renaissance decorations. In 1693 all this was destroyed.
The "Marble" cloister was rebuilt with late baroque decorations. The Eastern Cloister was a new addition. A new area on the North side was also added.
Giancarlo De Carlo, architect, has said, "...the old meanings have been substituted by a new one that allows the old architecture get a new structure and an important role for the contemporary world."
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 iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Monastery of St. Nicholas Arena on Map
Walking Tours in Catania, Italy
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
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