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Church of Maria SS. of Rosario

Of the existence of the SS. Maria of the Rosary church, there is a mention already in 1574 during a pastoral visit in Bronte of Monsignor Torres, bishop of Monreale, from which Bronte was depending.

At that time the church was held by the friars of the San Dominic order. The dates 1608-1621, sculpted on lava stone under the frame of the gable of the major door, make think of a first remaking and of the work completion.

A complete restoration, performed at the beginning of 1800, changed an ancient SS. Maria dell'Assunzione chapel in sacristy and the altar of the Assunzione was put in the current place. With his simple and linear architecture, fronting the homonymous Piazza Rosario, dominates Corso Umberto on which it overlooks for all the right side and from which offers a pleasant gradual perspective view.

In virtue of the big changes performed to the road level alongside the church, in the years 1869 and 1870, the Rosary is now in a banked position in respect of the original building plan.

The lowering of the road level and the straightening of his axis, with unavoidable urban demolitions, involved big changes to the original entries of the church and to the structural complex. That justifies the presence of the long masonry platform on the Corso Umberto and the flight steps to the principal front entrance.

The principal prospect

The principal prospect, simple and balanced composition, XVII century style, with Renaissance recalls, is pronounced by two big horizontal frames supported by superimposed couples of ornamental lines.

On the façade stands out the balanced portal drawing again to bas-relief in lava stone, the mannerist inspiration window and the central prismatic steps in lava stone. Well proportionate the triangular tympanum (with ornamental prisms and circular watch) which closes in high the order double of ornamental lines.

On the stands out the ribbed cap of the dome with lanterns set up on a windowed high drum and a little bell tower (the ringing sound of his little bells has characterized for centuries the church).

The internal

The internal, restored at the beginning of the XIX century has drawing simplicity: it is to a rectangular only nave and stands out for the luxuriant baroque decoration.

Two deep chapels in correspondence of the transept increase the perspective view of the dome. The geometrical preciousness of the drawings, the refinement of the gold, the chisel of the plasters gives a singular liveliness both to the walls and sometime make it appear damask. On the left, extraneous to the context, stand out the gothic forms of the pulpito ligneo surmounted by the canopy with flowery pinnacles.

The nave and transept decoration was completed early in 1950 by some teachers deco­ra­tors of Belpasso. The large entry door to the church is work of the bronte­se Domenico Girbino.

Attached to the left side of the church, in the Giovanni Piccino street, stands the Maria College built in 1780 by initiative of "donna" Maria Scafiti.



The bronze door is the work of the Brontese sculptor Domenico Girbino

Translated by Sam Di Bella


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