San Cataldo

Like the adjacent Martorana, San Cataldo was founded by an admiral, Maio Bari, who was murdered by Matthew Bonellus of Caccamo in November 1160.  The church was dedicated to St Cataldus a fifth century Irish saint who became bishop of Taranto.  During the eighteenth century the church was used as a post office, until restored in the nineteenth when the 3 red domes were added.  

In style the church looks rather like Zisa in it's square aspect with 3 windows on each side surrounded by blind arcading as well as the finely carved ledge running around the summit. Otherwise the style is Byzantine with 3 apses to the east before a dome over the crossing.  The interior is a typical mixture of Norman plainness mixed with Arab ogival vaults and Byzantine blind arches pierced by ogival windows.  The nave has 2 aisles with spolia columns and Byzantine arcades and floor mosaics.  Beneath the church is the ancient city wall.  Within the decoration is gone apart from the floor and the ancient Corinthian capitals on their equally ancient 4 columns.

Why not join me here and at other Sicilian castles?  Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly Sojourns.


Copyright©2019 Paul Martin Remfry