Taormina and the fortress Cathedral
Taormina, is a town of ancient history. A pearl of the Mediterranean that welcomes and pampers its visitors offering a wide receptivity from bed and breakfast to farms and excellent cuisine that you can enjoy in the best restaurants of Taormina.
Taormina, a welcoming town, a joy for the eyes thanks to its splendid panorama and to the pearls of archeology and art that it preserves and offers to tourists.
One of these is undoubtedly the Duomo.
The Cathedral of Taormina, also called the Fortezza Cathedral, is dedicated to San Nicola di Bari and stands near Porta Catania, along Corso Umberto.
Raised in the 13th century on the ruins of a church also dedicated to San Nicola di Bari, the Duomo was modified and rebuilt in the following centuries.
The nickname of Cathedral fortress derives from the external elements of fortification in fact, on the façade, presents the battlements with a crown and on the back stands the tower with bastion that, from 1750, houses the bells.
The façade is very simple and enriched by the main portal, framed by two single-lancet windows, above which a large rosette of Renaissance inspiration opens up.
It has a Latin cross plan with three naves and three apses. The main nave has six columns in pink marble of Taormina with beautiful leafy capitals and fish scales, the origin of the columns is probably the ancient theater. The columns support pointed arches that coordinate the main nave with the side ones. The roof of the central nave has large wooden beams and carved corbels which, in a Gothic style, reproduce Arabic motifs.
Along the side aisles there are the six minor altars and on one of these, the second of the right aisle to be exact, there is the sixteenth-century polyptych by Antonello de Saliba.
Finally, mention should be made of the square on which the Cathedral opens, at the center of which is a beautiful fountain, attributed to one of the last pupils of the Florentine Montorsoli. It was built in 1635 and has circular steps and four columns surmounted by seahorses from which, once, water flowed and that gave it, thus, the name of “4 fountains”.
The central gush, in practice the real fountain, instead has two tanks and on the smallest are engraved the names of the city administrators who built it. At the center of the basin is a representation of a Centauressa with the crown in her head, holding the scepter in her right hand and the globe in her left hand.