The inner center
The tutelary Nume
this page we wish to present to you another particular aspect that
characterizes some houses of the Historic Centre of Bronte: the ancient
portals in lava or sandstone, and, above all, the arches
the architraves, masterly sculptured by the ancient stone cutters
Usually these are architectural structures featuring a curved line (with
lowered or elliptic arch) of several and different styles, resting on two
lava stone supports with ornate capitals in relief and a curved stone in
the arch centre (the key) sculptured with a coat
of arms, a symbol, a face or a tutelary numen to protect and
defend the house.
With the passing of time, because of plain indifference, many of these
portals have been lost, damaged, broken to pieces or even stolen (a
typical example the beautiful portal of the ancient church
of Placa Baiana literally snatched during the night and taken
off with it by the usual unknown).
But just look to
the present day to see that the thefts and raids continue:
without fear a few years ago, in front of the Carabinieri
station in via Benedetto Radice, a drinking bottle was torn and
stolen, which had been resisting there for some centuries.
We would wish a better protection for the few portals still in existence
and, if is absolutely necessary to demolish some of these houses, we would
like the portals to be preserved in the gardens in front of the Nelson
Castle, in its open air Museum of sculptured lava stones or in the new
“Museum of lava stone and artisan and agricultural traditions” of
whose opening everybody is talking (a regional financing for the placing
of exhibition handcrafts and the purchase of the technological instruments
appears to have been already granted).
still preserves a town planning structure of clear Arab inspiration
with ancient courtyards, under passages, portals in lava stone, on
which are inserted motives of Renaissance and baroque inspiration,
with plasters and sculpted stones of great beauty.
The ancient zone is rich of architectures inspired to the typical
simplicity of the rural civilization.
A lot of the portals beautified
by floral decorations, the palaces still preserve unchanged the
ancient and elegant moldings and those elements particularly
interesting in lava stone (the material most used in the gone by