In 1693 Catania was destroyed by a violent earthquake. The reconstruction was a slow and laborious challenge that gave birth to an historic centre, which is nowadays recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The panorama of the rebuilt city was soon dominated, in the second half of the XVII century, by four baroque masonry domes, symbols of spiritual and temporal power: the domes of the Cathedral, Badia di Sant’Agata, San Michele Arcangelo and San Nicolò l’Arena churches. These big vaults, which survived several following earthquakes, represent the highest expression of the XVII century architectural knowledge in eastern Sicily. Each dome has been studied, both from a geometric and constructive point of view, in order to reveal the secrets concerning design, proportions, profile, construction and statics. Archival documents and unpublished sources have been consulted, while 3D laser scanner surveys and non-destructive tests have been carried out to achieve complete and accurate results. The opportunity of a close investigation allowed to reveal one of the most interesting and complex pages of Catania’s baroque architecture and to investigate the cultural background and the mutual influences of the involved architects and masters.

The baroque domes in Catania (Sicily)

FLORIANO, LAURA;LIUZZO, MARIANGELA;
2017

Abstract

In 1693 Catania was destroyed by a violent earthquake. The reconstruction was a slow and laborious challenge that gave birth to an historic centre, which is nowadays recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The panorama of the rebuilt city was soon dominated, in the second half of the XVII century, by four baroque masonry domes, symbols of spiritual and temporal power: the domes of the Cathedral, Badia di Sant’Agata, San Michele Arcangelo and San Nicolò l’Arena churches. These big vaults, which survived several following earthquakes, represent the highest expression of the XVII century architectural knowledge in eastern Sicily. Each dome has been studied, both from a geometric and constructive point of view, in order to reveal the secrets concerning design, proportions, profile, construction and statics. Archival documents and unpublished sources have been consulted, while 3D laser scanner surveys and non-destructive tests have been carried out to achieve complete and accurate results. The opportunity of a close investigation allowed to reveal one of the most interesting and complex pages of Catania’s baroque architecture and to investigate the cultural background and the mutual influences of the involved architects and masters.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11387/124999
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