Towns & Architecture

The Cathedral of Messina.

The Cathedral of Messina is in Piazza Duomo, Although it was reconstructed after the 1908 earthquake and 1943 bombings, It was built by Henry VI..

The Cathedral of Messina is in Piazza Duomo,

in the heart of the town.

Although it was reconstructed after the 1908 earthquake

and 1943 bombings,

it has preserved its medieval aspect.

Built in 1197 by Henry VI Hohenstaufen

The facade was totally rebuilt but you can still see

the original central portal built in the early Middle Ages,

decorated with two lions and a statue of the Virgin Mary

and infant Jesus.

The side doors of the Cathedral of Messina are decorated

with statues of the Apostles and lovely inlay and reliefs.

On the left-hand side of the facade is the large campanile,

almost 60 metres (197 feet) high,

built to house a unique object

(The largest astronomical clock in the world),

built by a Strasbourg firm in 1933.

In particular,

noon is the signal for a number of mechanical

figures to move in elaborate patterns,

geared by huge cogwheels.

Almost all of the impressive interior is the result of fine

post-war reconstruction.

Some sculptures on the trusses in the central section

of the two-aisle nave,

a 15th-century basin and the 1525 statue of St John the Baptist

by Gagini are also part of the original decoration.

The doorways in the right-hand vestibule leading to the Treasury

are of note,

as it is the tomb of Archbishop Palmieri,

sculpted in 1195.

In the transept is an organ,

built after World war II,

which has five keyboards and 170 stops.

The side aisles house many works of art,

especially Gothic funerary monuments,

most of which have been reconstructed.

The 1908 earthquake in Messina.

At 5:20 am on 28 December 1908,

it seemed that nature was intent on destroying Messina;

an earthquake and a tidal wave struck at the same time,

bringing over 91 per cent of the buildings to the ground and

killing 60.000 people.

Reggio Calabria,

on the other side of the straits of Messina,

was also destroyed.


reconstruction began immediately.

Some of the remains of the old Messina were salvaged

by being incorporated into a new urban plan,

designed by Luigi Borzi,


his scheme gives Messina its present-day appearance.

See our services provided from the Port of this city.

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