The Capizzi College

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The Capizzi college

Curch of Sacro Cuore

The church of the Sacro Cuore (Sacred Heart), placed on the Corso Um­berto at the center of the Capizzi college among the ancient eighteenth - century wing and the neoclassic one. Was wanted by the Rector Of The College Giuseppe Prestianni and built mostly on the area occupied by the ancient San Rocco chapel, mentioned in reveals of 1580 and matrimonial registers of 1589.

The construction of the edifice began in 1907 and the church was solemnly opened to the public, on November 15 the, 1914, with the blessing of the Archbishop Mons. Ferraris.

The prospect and interior decorations were performed by Ing. Sciuto Patti; the structure and architectural composition by Caselli. Benedetto Radice in "the Historical Memories of Bronte" describes her so: "as a work of art is one of the most beautiful not only for the town but also for Sicily".

The composition and the greater height of the church in respect to the College, visually make it autonomous and emergent in the disposition of the block volumes.

In the façade, to the free and modern scansion of flat surfaces alternated by surfaces of feigned ashlars work, classical decorative elements are oppo­sed. The triangular architrave with broken lines of the portal is sup­ported by two beautiful columns of lava stone set up on prismatic pede­stals. Above the massive corner pilasters, the drawing of the architra­ve is resumed in the cornice and closes the façade up above.

A fanlike rose window in iron and colored glass, filters the light inside the church.

In the inside, the only nave is marked by two big pilasters taken again by big strips also on the vault.

The church has five altars in marble, work of Domenico Spampinato. The better one, second to the right, is dedicated to Santa Caritosa (picture painted in 1919 by Alessandro Abate). The body of the Holy one, kept under the altar, was given to Bronte by the philosopher Nicola Spedalieri (as from his letter of July 23rd, 1973).

Bronte, chiesa del Sacro Cuore
Bronte, chiesa del Sacro Cuore, il portale

On the major altar, in white marble, stand out the figures in bronze of the four evangelists and two little statues of San Pietro and San Paolo.

Up above, under the cornice, the heads of ten apostles are represen­ted. The cantors spot is supported by two thin little columns in cast iron.

The Church Of Sacro Cuo­re was mostly built on the area of the ancient San Rocco chapel, that was adjacent to the College and a small, lateral street.
The San Rocco statue, placed in a niche on the right of the major altar.

In the left part of the nave, are preserved the mortal remains of the founder of the College, the Venerable.
Ignazio Capizzi, transfer­red from Palermo to Bronte In April 1994. On May 27th, 1858, Ignazio Capizzi, for his theological virtues and the fecund apo­stleship developed in Sicily, was declared vene­rable by Pius IX, that called him "the San Filippo Neri  of Sicily". The funereal monument, given by an ex collegian, the on. Marcello Dell'Utri, it is work of the sculptor Ivo Celeschi (1993). 

The decoration stands up for the redundancy of ornaments and projecting plasters of various inspiration (baroque with Renaissance and classical elements). The picture on the altar dedicated to S. Caritosa painted by Alessandro Abate in 1919;

In the canvas, low to the right, the artist has painted a sugge­stive view of Bronte and the Ca­pizzi college at the feet of Etna

The high part of the façade of the church with the fanlike rose window and the roof; on the back the ancient mechanical clock (1787), still working, that, with the ringing sound of the two bells, for over a century has pronounced every quarter of hour the time of Bronte and of the brontese people scattered in the nearby farms.

      Translated by Sam BellaITALIAN VERSION

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