The Church of Maria Santissima della Catena in Cefalù is located in Piazza Garibaldi, where once stood the so-called Porta di Terra. Built in the 18th century for the Lombi family, it is one of the richest churches in the town. Leaning against the church is the Civic Tower, which incorporates in its base some remains of the ancient megalithic walls.
The history of the Church of Maria Santissima della Catena in Cefalù
The construction of the Church of Maria Santissima della Catena in Cefalù dates back to 1780. The work was financed by the Legambi family, which held various institutional positions in Cefalù from 1659 until the first decades of the 19th century. The building was erected near the Royal Gate, one of the main entrances to the city, present in the so-called Megalithic Walls. Later the gate was demolished and replaced by the so-called Porta Maggiore, the remains of which can still be seen in the nearby Civic Tower. The church was originally called the Addoloratella because it was the seat of a college of the same name, founded to give asylum to seven destitute women. The change of the name was due to an incident in 1900, when the parish priest was asked to celebrate a votive mass in honor of Our Lady of the Chain. According to tradition, the priest interpreted this request as a divine sign and decided to promote this cult, which was born in the 14th century in the church of Santa Maria della Catena in Palermo.
Architecture and artwork
The façade of the Church of Maria Santissima della Catena in Cefalù is made of yellow tuff blocks. It is characterized by a loggia with a wide round arch supported by two pairs of columns with Ionic capitals. On both sides of the arch there are two niches where two statues are placed. In the middle of the façade, above the arch, between two pairs of windows, there is a third niche with the statue of the Madonna. The church originally had two bell towers, which have disappeared, leaving only the columns at the end of the façade. The interior has a single nave and is lit by the windows on the façade and those that open on the southern side.
The Civic Tower
Leaning against the church of Santa Maria della Catena di Cefalù is the Civic Tower, which incorporates in its base some remains of the megalithic walls. It has a rather squat shape and in 1889 two clocks were placed in the upper part, which still mark the hours. Their installation required the restoration of the tower, as well as the raising of a floor of the tower to allow the insertion of the gears inside the structure. A commemorative plaque recalls that in this tower the Italian patriot Salvatore Spinuzza was shot on March 14, 1857.Aggiungi ai preferiti