Pandaemonium

SICILIAN BAROQUE

noto-7

In 1693 Sicily was devastated by a great earthquake. The cities of the south-east – Ragusa, Modica, Noto among them – were destroyed completely.

In the wake of the disaster came an extraordinary period of reconstruction. Not for the poor, of course, who continued to live in primitive hovels at the edge of cities. But for the nobility, and for the Church, rebuilding the cities became an occasion for the flaunting of wealth. The result was a series of dazzling new cities, built above or near to the old devastated ones, and expressing a new, peculiarly Sicilian form of the baroque.

Noto, Modica and Ragusa are all little gems of Sicilian baroque. They are reminders both of the heights to which human artistry can ascend – and the social divisions upon which such artistry is often created.


.

Noto

noto-3

noto-2

noto-11

noto-1

noto-5

noto-12

noto-8

noto-9

noto-10

.

Modica

modica-1

modica-4

.

Ragusa

ragusa-3

ragusa-1

ragusa-santa-maria-scale_

2 comments

  1. damon

    The Italian prime minister says that Italy will rebuild after the earthquake destruction, but we don’t build in the same way anymore. We make things on the cheap, plain and ugly. With little decoration and style.
    Just look at modern buildings and compare them to older ones.
    I was doing just that yesterday, working outside a school in north Lambeth in London.
    The one hundred years old building was beautiful and graceful, while the modern extension to it just looked like grey boxes.

Comments are closed.