Duomo square is the seat of the
Cathedral and the Town Hall and it represent the centre of the
civic life. Civil and religious monuments alternate to point out
the architectonic synthesis between the civil and the religious
To include the whole perspective of the
square we must put on the west side of the square, in front of
the Cathedral. On the left it is the main facade of the
Townhall known with the name of Palazzo degli Elefanti,
opposite, it is the austere Seminario dei Chierici that
stretches itself as far as the sixteenthcentury walls joining to
the Episcopal palace. It is the seat of the Diocesan
Museum,fouded in 2001,where sacred art collections are Kept.
Between the Seminario and the buildings adjacent to the
Cathedral opens the Porta Uzeda ,built in 1696 as a
scenographical opening of the walls over the square from which
starts the long straight line of via Etnea. The quadrilateral is
completed by the façades of two noble palaces outstretched to
The square shows the relationship between the
city and the sea, that marks the Catanese economy trained since
the ancient times towards trade and the mercantile activities.
From here the city started to extend towards north along via
Etnea that continues to the scenographical natural background of
the volcano Etna. The quadrilateral aspect is determined by the
façade of the buildings and the Cathedral.
The gates of the walls acquire a symbolical
value recalling the model of the triumphal Roman arch. They mark
clearly the distinction between the city and the counstryside,
between the centre of the city and the outside.
To define the style of the architectures of
the square we use the term “baroque”. In that case this term is
used in a generic and reducing way. The Baroque period was for
Sicily a sort of Renaissance a constructive revival that
involved all arts the Catanese Architecture is soberer than the
Roman one and the other Baroque Sicilian cities.