The Cathedral of Petralia Sottana is dedicated to the Virgin of the Assumption and it is located in the old district called Pusterna. This building have not a precise origin and its internal and external structures and configurations have been significantly changed during the centuries.
The lateral splayed portal of the fifteenth-century building has been preserved. It still retains the Catalan-Gothic relief decoration with thistle leaves and some works of art housed inside.
The appearance and the size of the building were completely changed during the rebuilding in the seventeenth century.
The bell tower
On the right side of the transept there is the white limestone bell tower that is about 30 meters high ad it was completed in 1680, as it can be seen in an inscription on the attic of the tower.
The building has a Latin cross plan and it is divided into three naves: the central one is covered with barrel vaults and the side ones are covered with groin vaults. The vaults are supported by six pairs of Tuscan columns that were extracted from the quarry of Lumachella in Vazu di Santu Tieru. At the bottom of the nave there is the apse which has two big windows and a rose window. Under the rose window, a marble polyptych of Our Lady of Graces is placed. It is of 1501 and it was probably made by Giorgio from Milan. In the presbytery there are numerous paintings of great workmanship.
On the left wall there is the seventeenth-century painting of the bishop St. Nicholas. Near it, there is the wonderful late Sicilian-Marches Gothic altarpiece. This panel was painted in the late fifteenth century by an anonymous Master of the Madonie. At the end of the wall, there is the painting of St. Mauro that was made by Giuseppe Salerno in 1623. Another Salerno’s work of art is St. Onofrio that comes from the church of St. Peter.
The chapels and altars:
The 1658 chapel of the Most Holy Sacrament
it is covered with precious polychrome marble and there is a painting of St. Gandolfo from Binasco. In the vault there is a fresco that has Eucharistic references.
The chapel of St. Joseph
it was made by Bartolomeo Berrettaro and Francesco del Mastro. Jesus was made by Antonello Gagini.
The 1662 chapel of the Our Lady of Graces
the statue of the Virgin and Child was made in the XVIII century by Mario Ciotta from Trapani.
The chapel of the Immaculate Conception
It was made in 1620 and the statue was made by Serpotta.
The chapel of the souls in Purgatory
in the centre there is a polychrome stone Pieta that was probably made by Francesco del Mastro in the XVI century. There is also a reredos made in the XVII century probably by Ragona, which represents the Exaltation of the Cross.
The crape of the five wounds
there is a precious painting of “Christ in the Sepulcher” made by Giuseppe Salerno in 1629. On the altar, there is the statue of the Patron St. Calogero that was made in 1633 by Friar Umile Pintorno.
The chapel of the Virgin of the Rosary
it was commissioned in 1670 with the statuary group of the Virgin of the Rosary and Child.
The chapel of St. Orsola
There is a Manneristic painting of the Triumph of the Eucharist that was made in 1671 by Giuseppe Salerno.
The Organ Pipe
It is over the main door and it was made in 1659 by Santo Romano.
The chapel of the Escape to Egypt
there is a painting that represents the Escape to Egypt that was made in 1617. On the altar there is a statue of St. Antony from Padova that was made by Friar Macario from Nicosia.
The chapel of the Most Holy Mary from Monserrato
The painting was made in 1625 by Ottaviano Basile from Enna.
The chapel of St. Vincent
there is a painting of St. Vincent from Zaragoza that was made by the painter Matteo Sammarco. There is a statue of St. James before it.
The chapel of the Crucifix
there is a great wood Crucifix of the XIV century.
The chapel of the Virgin Hodegitria
there is a dedicated painting
The church keeps a fantastic treasure made up by rich clothes, votive offerings and silver objects. Among the silver objects there is a wonderful and precious Crux. Another important element is the bronze Arabic candelabra of the XI-XII centuries.
For further information:
Parrocchia Maria SS.Assunta
Tel. and fax: 0921.641031