Messina (Sicily) — a beautiful old town and “sea gate” of the island, where is located the port through which it is connected with the mainland of Italy. Here you can see many sights, to enjoy nature, to feel the history of the island and its ancient settlements.
Tourists wondering where to go in Italy, will definitely want to visit Sicily and is located here in a small town, among which the Messina stands out for its quiet streets, old churches and ancient history.
About the origin of the settlements in Sicily, the locals can tell you many legends. One of them talks about the creation of the island by the God Neptune, which separated it from the continent in a fit of anger. Considered a beauty by the sea autocrat corner of the earth, other gods were also here to visit, one day Saturn, making out green island, covered with flowers, founded the city Zancle, which later was renamed the Stay, and then to Messina.
In fact, the city was founded by colonists from Greece to 730 BC, although previously there were more ancient settlement. Located near Etna, its eruptions and frequent earthquakes periodically destroy homes.
In 1908 In the terrible earthquake and tsunami of Messina was almost destroyed, killed 60 thousand inhabitants, the town fell into ruins. Some residents were rescued by Russian sailors, the Navy which in those days were in port. In honor of these events in the city opened a monument to Russian sailors who saved the life of messianism.
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Also great destruction and fires occurred on the island during the bombing of the Second world war in 1943, the efforts of the authorities and residents for several decades, buildings and monuments were restored.
Sicily-the largest Mediterranean island with an area of 25 thousand sq km, home to 5 million inhabitants. Since 1947, Sicily gained autonomy and is the largest administrative region of Italy. Thanks to its geographical position on the crossroads of trade routes since ancient times the island was often conquered by various peoples: tribe shikanov, Indo-European tribes sekulow and alemaw, then moved here the Greeks and the Carthaginians, later they were replaced by the Romans.
In the middle Ages for O. Sicily alternately fought vandals, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans. Over the years the island changed 7 European dynasties. In 1860, there broke out a popular uprising, headed by Garibaldi, and a year later Sicily became part of the United Kingdom of Italy. The last war the battle occurred in 1943, when the island landed allied troops in Italy.
Cities of Sicily (Palermo, Syracuse, Messina and Corleone) have ancient historical roots. Sicily on the map of the world is located in the South of Europe and proud of its natural, archeological and architectural landmarks and beautiful landscapes, especially in areas near mount Etna, where there is the natural Park of Alcantara.
Messina (Sicily) in the North-Eastern part of the island in the Bay of the Ionian sea, on the shore of the Strait of Messina in the environment Peloritani mountains. Due to its existence for millennia the town has a strategic importance for Italy is rapidly evolving and rebuilt. In times of peace it served as a catalyst for the development of local trade and communication with mainland Italian ports, in the military — there was a Maritime Navy.
Near the entrance to the port in the narrow part of the Peninsula is a medieval Fort built by order of Charles the 5th is the monastery of St. Salvatore. Despite the destruction after the earthquake, fortification is an impressive sight.
The Upper part of the building of the port, which is located in the Bastion of the ancient Fort of San Salvatore, Madonna graces on the globe — the gold-covered bronze statue, which depicts the Madonna della Bella, the patron Saint of the city. It was made by the sculptor T. Calabro, design by F. Barbaro, installed and consecrated in 1934 by Archbishop A. Pesos on behalf of Pope Pius 11th. The figure of the virgin right hand gives the blessing of the city of Messina, and the left holds the Sacred letter, dated 42 BC.
Nowadays, there are chartered only small merchant ships and a beautiful private yachts.
The Strait of Messina that separates mainland Italy from Sicily, which for centuries was considered one of the most dangerous for passing ships. Here are two powerful whirlpool, known since ancient Greek times and is mentioned in the poems of Homer “Iliad” and “Odyssey”.
The Width of the Strait, 3.5 km from two large craters are formed due to the rotation of water masses at great depth and speed of flow during high tide and low tide of up to 10 km/h. Scylla and Charybdis in the Strait of Messina frightened sailors for many centuries, however the modern ferries carry locals and tourists freely and safely.
Thanks to its small size, the whole town can get around almostfor the day. Although it has many interesting historical places:
The tourists visiting Messina and other Sicilian cities, reviews are always added positive, they are under the impression South the beautiful nature, high snowy mountains, among which is the famous volcano of Etna. Small towns on the island, though they are subject to periodic devastation from natural disasters, stubbornly rebuilt by the residents again, to impress its antiquity and monumentality.
In the centre of Messina is Cathedral, erected in 1197, and repeatedly rebuilt, resulting in its architecture and decorative elements are mixed different architectural styles: Gothic, Baroque etc., the Cathedral was repeatedly destroyed by earthquakes (1254, 1783, and 1908) and a fire in 1943 when the building was destroyed by fire almost to the ground.
Rebuilt by Archbishop Piano, was reopened only in 1947, the Cathedral is built of Sandstone, which can change color at different times of day, depending on the height of the sun by purchasing one light pink, then bronze, then gold hues. The lower part of the building is decorated with horizontal stripe marble top — the stonework, the light penetrates through 5 Gothic Windows.
The Interior it is a great delight for all lovers of art, as frescos, bas-reliefs, sculptures were created by famous Italian painters and craftsmen and then reproduced according to surviving drawings. Also survived and part of the frescoes of the XVII century. The Cathedral has an organ, famous for its size in the whole of Europe, second only to Milan.
Near the Cathedral rises the bell tower height of 90 m (1783), the top of which is the astronomical clock, created in 1933 by order in Strasbourg. The mechanism of these hours is considered to be one of the toughest in the world. Every day at noon the clock strikes, and set around a graceful Golden statues of dancing that come to enjoy not only tourists but also local residents.
The city has a lot of fountains, representing different art styles: vintage and more modern. One of them is located in the center of the square, the Duomo, near the Cathedral, — this Fountain of Orion, created in the XVI century George. Montorsoli, one of the disciples of Michelangelo.
According To the myths, Orion is the son of Neptune, the sea king and patron Saint of the city. The fountain was erected in honor of great events — the construction of water supply through which water is served at home city of Messina.
Fountain of Neptune decorate the area of United Italy, sculpture which made by the original masters of Montorsoli (exhibited in the Regional Museum of the city).
The Original The Church of Santa Maria Annunziata refers to one of the most ancient monuments of Messina (Sicily). Built in the XII century on the site of a pagan temple, it is an example of the mixing of architectural styles, combining North-Norman forms, Arab dome, arches and columns in the Byzantine style, of Oriental ornaments. This temple has remained virtually in its original form, as no earthquakes and military bombardment was not affected. Recently, however, after another earthquake the Church has settled into the soil about 3 m.
In the sixteenth century before it was a monument to don Juan of Austria, who defeated the Turkish troops near Lepanto (1571).
Church. Maria Alamanni built by the Teutonic knights on the orders of Frederick the 2nd of Swabia to provide resting places for the knights, who had been in the Crusades to the Holy lands. There was arranged a hospital, then a warehouse, but after the restoration work, restored in all its original splendor.
It is Located in the centre on the same street. Inside the Basilica is divided into 3 parishes with three semicircular apses. The passages divide the six-point capitals decorated with figures of beasts and floral motifs.
Church. Francis of Assisi — one of the ancient religious buildings of Messina, built in 1254 on the donations of the wealthy nobles of the city. It was damaged by earthquakes in 1783 and 1908 and the fire of 1884, but after the restoration was restored by engineer A. Marino. The exterior of the building is impressive because of its medieval apse with a rosette and two excellent portals that were saved after the earthquake. Inside it is the Basilica has a wooden ceiling. In one of the side chapels is preserved the statue of the Immaculate conception 17th century, made of silver.
Palace of the Monte di Pieta built in the XVIII century by the architect of the Jesuit N. Masuccio, which aimed to create a residential building opposite the Church of Santa Maria della pietà, built on the ruins of the Church of San Basilio. The building is located in the old part of the city after the earthquake of 1908, and military bombing of 1943 he left the bottomfloor, and from the Church — only a facade of alternating Windows and niches, and a balcony in the Baroque style. The courtyard overlooks a gentle slope, which was decorated with stairs leading to the cemetery of the Church of Santa Maria della pietà.
Thanks to the restoration works, the building became a Messianic symbol of ancient architecture and is often used when conducting cultural events and festivals in the city.
Palace Zanca, which is today the town hall, was formerly a number of palaces that adorn the Harbor of Messina (Sicily). After the devastation of 1908 in its place a restored neoclassical Palace, which received its name in honor of the architect A. Janka. The interior of the building is decorated with numerous works of art dedicated to the historical dates of the city and commemorative events, and part of the ancient Greek walls.
The Magnificent scenery and sunsets, mountain peaks and craters of volcanoes, tropical vegetation and towering among her restored architectural monuments and ancient ruins of settlements — all this awaits visitors to the island tourists. The answer to the question about where to go to Italy, was their decision to visit the island of Sicily, which lies in the beautiful Italian cities: Palermo, Catania, Siracusa and Messina.
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