The Church of Santa Maria delle Scale in Ragusa is surely one of the most famous and photographed sights in the city. It marks the beginning of a path made of stairs that connects the new town to Ragusa Ibla. Made famous worldwide by episodes of Commissario Montalbano, it is one of the monuments in Ragusa that is part of the UNESCO site: Late Baroque Cities of the Val di Noto.
The history of the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale
The construction of the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale probably dates back to the Norman period. In the 14th century, during the rule of the Chiaramonte family, the building was rebuilt in the Gothic style but was later partially destroyed by the 1693 earthquake. The earthquake caused the nave and left aisle to collapse, leaving only the right aisle standing, which is still visible today. The missing parts were thus rebuilt in the Baroque style. The ancient church was preceded by a portico with arcades, called “le pinnate di Santa Maria,” which occupied the present left aisle. On one side of the portico was an octagonal stone pulpit, now walled up outside the church.
Architecture and artwork of the church
The interior of the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale in Ragusa is divided into three naves. The one on the right is the one that survived the terrible Val di Noto earthquake. Here two Gothic-Catalan and one Renaissance-style archways are visible, all finely carved with ornamental motifs. The second archway is certainly the most interesting because it is surmounted by a small sculpture of “Madonna and Child.” The reliefs decorating it depict flowers, branches and various fantastic animals. One of the most beautiful works, kept inside the church, is located in one of the chapels of the right aisle. It is a polychrome terracotta altarpiece from Caltagirone that reproduces “The Transit of the Virgin” and is dated 1538.Aggiungi ai preferiti