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Ragusa Guide Italy

Churches and Museums


Churches and Museums

The churches that have been included in the Unesco World Heritage List and the most interesting museums in Ragusa.
  • Cathedral (Duomo) of San Giorgio
    This cathedral stands at the top of a monumental staircase that has 250 steps. It was designed in 1738 by the architect Rosario Gagliardi, while the imposing neoclassical dome was built around 1820, a copy of the Pantheon in Paris.
  • Church of Santa Maria delle Scale
    This church was rebuilt after the earthquake in 1693 on top of the original fourteenth century site. The Church of Santa Maria delle Scale connects the more recent High Ragusa to the older Ragusa Ibla with a picturesque staircase with 242 steps.
  • Church of Purgatory (Purgatorio)
    This church was finished shortly before the earthquake in 1693 and miraculously survived without damage. Starting from the 18th century, considerable renovations and extensions were carried out, that created a new church, which was even more majestic than the first.
  • Church of Santa Maria dell’Itria
    The original church that was built in the 14th century was completely destroyed by the earthquake. The church was later rebuilt and extended in pure Baroque Sicilian style. The interior is very interesting. It has five altars full of sculptures and carvings of flower garlands.
  • Church of Santa Maria del Gesù
    The Convent and the Church were built starting from 1639 using recycled materials from the abandoned Castle of Ragusa. Unlike the Convent, the Church was damaged by the earthquake and then almost completely rebuilt in 1700. The entire building was constructed on four floors and is 21 meters high.
  • Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli
    In the 18th century, some Ragusa people found an antique picture of the Madonna with her child just outside the city. This finding was immediately interpreted as a miracle that was celebrated with the new church dedicated to the Madonna of Miracles that all the citizens took part in. Although it was left unfinished, the church is interesting, especially due to its original style of a drawn-out octagonal shape.
  • Church of San Francesco all’Immacolata
    This ancient church was built in honor of San Francesco in the 14th century. The church was partly damaged during the 1693 earthquake: The remains of the original Church, such as the portal and the bottom of the bell tower, were incorporated into the new structure that was completed in record time in 1711.
  • Church of San Filippo Neri
    The Church was built a few years after Filippo Neri was made a saint (1622) and was virtually undamaged by the earthquake. The building was renovated around the second half of the 18th century: large windows were opened up on the side façades and a vault was built to replace the old wooden ceiling.
  • Church of San Giuseppe
    The church was built following the wishes of the Benedictine monks between 1756 and 1796. The main façade, with its carvings and statues of various saints, is worthy of note. Inside there are charming ebony, painted glass and tile decorations.
  • Church of San Giorgio
    The first Church of San Giorgio stood near the Ibleo Garden, but only the sumptuous door in Gothic-Catalan style remained of the original building after the earthquake in 1693. After the earthquake the Church was rebuilt in another place according to the project of the architect Rosario Gagliardi. The Church stands on top of a large staircase and has an imposing “tower-like” façade.
  • Church of San Giovanni Battista
    The original part of the church, that was seriously damaged by the earthquake, stood under the medieval castle walls. Later on (1694), the Church of San Giovanni Battista was rebuilt in the “new” Ragusa. The church was completed in just four months but its limited size was soon found to be inadequate and after a few years a much larger, imposing church was built. The façade that can be seen today is full of marble decorations, columns and statues.

  • Ibleo Regional archaeological museum
    From the Neolithic era up until the late ancient times: archaeological findings from ancient settlements that existed in the area around Ragusa.
  • Embroidery and threadwork museum
    This interesting museum is in Chiaramonte Gulgi, 19 km from Ragusa. It is worth a visit, even if it is outside the city. It provides a detailed reconstruction of the atmosphere and the environment in which the famous Sicilian embroidery was carried out.

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