Curch of the Ss. Trinità

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Church of the SS. Trinità

The Matrice

The church of the SS. Trinità (com­monly called "The Matrice") is one of the most ancient churches built in Bronte.
Single and isolated is located in the via Matrice, sloping slightly on lava rocks (still visible on the right side and on the back).
It was built with the name of Church Of The SS. Trinità in the first half of the XVI° century with the fusion of two ancient churches: that of Santa Maria (the biggest and the most ancient) and that of the SS. Trinità.

The traces of the ancient buildings are still well visible, referable to the two churches Santa Maria and SS. Trinità, before their fusion:

on the northern wall, stand out the corner of the ancient church and a Gothic door, composed of limestone ashlars and surmounted by a mask representing a human face;

the buttress of the wall is clearly outlined, to the North side;

In the two photos below some tra­ces of the ancient edifices visible externally on the south wall: a door con architrave and semi columns of greenish stone, already flaked by time. The church does not have ar­chi­tectural and decorative chara­cters such to attribute a stylistic absolute definition, but over the plastered surfaces leap a few ele­ments which, without a shadow of doubt, define it as one  of the con­stru­ction, pre­sent  in Bronte, endo­wed with major vetustà (venerabi­lity due to age).


inside, on the right and left side coming in from the major door, were brought to light some columns, the floor and other architectural elements in limestone, referable to the ancient church of Santa Maria;

on the southern wall, are visible a door with architrave and semi-columns of greenish stone, already flaked by the time (can be red only a few words) and some Gothic little windows to glimmer, in sandstone, like the ones in the Benedictine Abbey of Maniace.

The joining of the two churches of Santa Maria and SS. Trinità did not happen in the same period:

  the pronao with the preacher's quartierino, the columns and the architrave of the major door date 1575, few years after the forced joining of the farmhouses in Bronte, ordered by Carlo v (1535);

  the bell tower was completed in 1579,

  the vaults in the XVIII century,

  the two wonderful baroque altars of the crucifix and the purgatory in 1655.

The bell tower


restored in 1780 ("Michael Aidala refecit et deal­bavit") has a stylistic and volumetric autonomy of its own and with his massive proportions gives relevance to the set.

Its powerful structure , is highlighted by corner pillars of lava stone, crenellated on top and a cusp with an octagonal base.

Three overhanging lapidary windowsills divide the plastered fund of the four sides and highlight the shutter of the one light arched window.

A Ghibelline battlement with a pyramidal cusp to octagonal base concludes the covering with a crowning typical of all the towers in Bronte.

Inside of the church

there isn't a precise architectural style and is extremely simple but also interesting enough.

Has a longitudinal shape to Latin cross, with two lateral naves and one central, four side chapels and two at the end, an apse chorus, a wooden chorus, with inlayed wooden benches.

The central nave is supported by twelve columns made of sandstone with capitals, subsequently increased with consolidation masonry (two of them collapsed in the earthquake of 1818).

The arcades of the ancient twelve columns are round arched.

Entering the church from the major door it is possible to see how originally the columns had been.

Here were brought to light a few columns, the floor and other architectural elements in limestone of the original building.

The three naves belonged to the ancient church of Santa Maria, the transept, the major chapel and the two sides, to the old church of the SS. Trinità.

The transept is contained in the short sides by two wonderful baroque altars of the Crucifix (2) and the Purgatory (1)(restored in 1892).

The vaults replace the original wooden trusses. The first chapel, to the right coming in (8) is dedicated to San Biagio (patron saint of Bronte), the second (6) to the Addolorata with the statues of the Madonna (every Venerdì Santo - holy Friday - is taken in procession after the statues of Christ to the Column, the crucifix and Christ dead).

The first left chapel is dedicated to Jesus' Heart (7), with a small mausoleum in marble of the dean Vincenzo Uccellatore and (to the right) the picture of the Buon Pastore (Good Shepherd), work of the brontese Agostino Attinà (1880).

Comes then the chapel of the apostles Pietro and Paolo (5).

To the right of the chorus that of S. Maria of the Candelora or the Purification (4), first half of the XVII century.

To the left, the chapel of the SS. Sacrament (3), already in existence since 1574, taken with two frescos by the brontese Nunziato Petralia (1895) which represents a fasting mule that refuses to eat its fodder for three days and stands in adoration in front of the sacrament from S. Antonino and the count Rodolfo degli Asburgo who gives his own horse to a priest that is taking the Last Sacraments to a very ill person.

In the apse is noticed the wall wooden structure of the chorus with the benches worked to inlays and the equipment of the mechanical organ.

On the walls of the side naves lay some mausoleums of illustrious brontesi, among which stand out, in the left nave, the ones of the bishop Monsignor Giuseppe Saitta and of the don Nicola Spedalieri (1741 -1831).

The apse part of the church, built during the first half of the XVI° century with the fusion of the two pre-existing churches: Santa Maria and SS. Trinità).

The plasters and the gilding inside show up, the modular structure of the hanging arches that hold the big cen­tral nave and the ancient mechanical organ. The Grieved Ma­don­na statue, very worshipped by the faithful Bronte's peo­ple, is kept in this church.

The central nave and the chorus with the benches wor­ked to inlays. Entering the church from the major door it is possible to see how originally the columns had been. Here were brought to light a few columns, the floor and other architectural elements in limestone of the original building.

The Baptismal font
Here very many generations of Bronte’s people have received their christening as the Main Church already in the 18th century was one of the few, in the Catania Diocese, to be a parish church with a perpetual parish priest.

When the Municipal Archive was burned down, during the riots of 1860, the books of the Main Church became the only source of news related to the population.

Church's map (only in italian)

Translated by Sam Di Bella ITALIAN VERSION


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