Churches / English / Italy · 18.06.2023

Church of Santa Petronilla

Chiesa Di Santa Petronilla, Ragusa ūüáģūüáĻ

Chiesa Di Santa Petronilla in Ragusa

I decided to collect this information about the The Church of Santa Petronilla into this article, since there is not even a Wikipedia page for it, which is very rare. This church is located just around the block from us, like 150 meters away.

The Church of Santa Petronilla, or in Italian, Chiesa Di Santa Petronilla, was originally located at the end of the Cava del Pozzo.

(I still need to find more information about this cave system, as I am getting confusing results when I search information about it. Apparently there is/was a cave system in Ragusa/Italy, but I have not come across it yet)

It was built in the first half of 1600 after damage reported after an earthquake. Church of Santa Petronella was rebuilt between 1770 and 1776 in its current hillside position, dominating the Via Torrenuova. Above the hill of the church, stretches the Via. Maria Paternò Arezzo. The Church can be reached by a narrow staircase between the cliffs and the detached houses from both alleys. The Church of Petronilla was first mentioned by Monsignor Capobianco in 1654 during a holy visitation, and according to tradition it was located behind the outer walls of the castle, probably in the lower part of the Cava del Pozzo.

Church of Santa Petronalle photographed from Via Torrenuova


The church is very simple; they assume that the rectangular plan was modified during the work and it took an octagonal shape similar to that of Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. It is octagonal in shape and has a support at each corner with a decorated Corinthian capital. (Corinthian capital is a specific style of column capital known for its ornate and detailed design).

Inside the Church there were three altars which were maintained during the first decade of this century. The altar followed the Immaculate Conception with an unknown image, and at the foot was a tomb without inscriptions. It is said to be that it depicts ‚Äļ Don Giuseppe Arezzo Grimaldi, the last duke of San Filippo delle Colonne.

In the inner frame that goes around the church, there are three stucco compositions corresponding to the three altars. The temple is now consecrated due to a recent renovation. In the extension in front of the church, you can admire an artistic fountain.

There is also a fountain nearby on Via Terranueva, and you can drink from it.

A little further down you can go to the Vicolo Discesa Miracoli, which leads to a panoramic view of the park below. There is a little bit steep flight of stairs and a passageway under a very low arch.

The Via dei Miracoli was filled with the stations of the Via Crucis, (Way of Sorrows) and it ran along the two slopes of the Cava del Pozzo to the cemetery of Cozzo Girgintano.

There were 14 holy crosses along this street. Out of those only the twelfth is in front of the entrance to the Ibla Hospital and the thirteenth depicts the Pietà, which was placed at the entrance to the road.

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