The Church of Santa Croce al Monte was built by the “Compagnia dei Bianchi”, a company made up of nobles who helped the needy, prisoners and the poor or orphan women who couldn’t afford a marriage, ensuring them the chance to have one.
During those years, the Company was searching for proper headquarters where to carry out their activities. After trying to use many different sites, the members of the Company decided to build their own one. The contruction began in 1613 and was completed only in 1675, even though the church was ready in 1643, except for the apse. In order to build the church, the Company called the famous architect from Termini Imerese Vincenzo La Barbera, author of the frescoes in the “Cammara Picta” located inside the Palazzo Comunale. The nobles demolished the church of San Gherardo, the church of San Sebastiano and a couple of nearby houses purchased to carry out the project. In this way, the current structure of the church was realized, which is located on the corner between via Mazzini and via San Salvatore.
Despite the limited size of the church, it is full of memorials of many famous people from Termini Imerese, like Baldassarre Romano, Melchiorre Lo Faso, Paolo Balsamo and also Niccolò Palmeri. For this reason, it is also called “the small Pantheon” of the town. Two marble sarcophagi dating back to 1500 are of significant interest too. They were sculptured by Gagini and are appreciated for their artistry, as well as for the fact that they are in line with other Gagini’s or his son’s works of art, visible in Syracuse. Furthermore, a painting by the architect La Barbera himself is of fine artistry. It is located inside the church and it shows San Gherardo, after whom the church (mentioned before) demolished to build this one was named.
“A spasso con Stenio” di Manuela Sinatra e Barbara Indorante
“Termini Imerese, Antica e Moderna” di Giuseppe Patiri.
Revisione: Gentilmente effettuata da Manuela Sinatra
Traduzione: Gentilmente realizzata da Alessia Bonaventura
di Francesco Marramaldo