Church of San Giorgio (Castelmola)

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The church of San Giorgio is one of the most important churches in Castelmola. It houses the precious statue of the saint, which is carried in procession through the streets of the village every year on the feast day of April 23. The church has a simple and essential style, but is characterized by the presence of a very distinctive bell tower.

The architecture of the church of San Giorgio in Castelmola

The church of San Giorgio in Castelmola was built around 1450, although the first official documents date back to 1533. The façade is very simple, with sober architectural lines. The entrance hall, covered with a round barrel vault, separates the square, also dedicated to St. George, from the church. The bell tower is very distinctive, consisting of a short tower incorporated into the body of the building. In the four corners there are four pyramidal pinnacles (clochetons), each of which holds a small stone ball. The tower, as well as the presbytery, can be reached by a masonry staircase located near the entrance.

Interior and artwork

The interior of the church of San Giorgio in Castelmola has a single nave. On the right side, some time after the construction of the building, a niche was created that now houses the Chapel of the Crucifix. There are several works of art here: statues of St. Blaise, Our Lady of Sorrows and the urn with the dead Jesus, canvases of Purgatory and the Mysteries of the Rosary, as well as an 18th century fresco of the Pieta. Behind the main altar is the apse, rebuilt by some American emigrants at their own expense. Here the wooden statue of St. George is kept in a shrine. It is carried in procession through the streets of the village on April 23rd. The other works of art in the church of St. George are: a canvas depicting the Incarnation of the Immaculate Conception and a wooden statue of the Immaculate Conception from the 18th century.

The feast of San Giorgio in Castelmola

The feast of St. George is the most important event in Castelmola and is celebrated every year on April 23rd. The festivities in the village begin the day before and last at least four or five days. The first procession of the statue of St. George takes place on April 22, the eve of the feast. On the following day, the statue is carried on the shoulders of the faithful through the streets of Castelmola to the Cathedral of San Nicola and then back to Piazza Sant’Antonio. Here the statue is placed on a motorized cart to continue the procession through the streets of the lower town. Along the road that connects Taormina to Castelmola, numerous stands are set up for the occasion. It is the perfect opportunity to taste the typical products of the village, including the famous almond wine.

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