Matrice Vecchia – Gratteri

Matrice Vecchia - Gratteri

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Matrice Vecchia - Gratteri

This name was given to the church after the construction of the New Mother church. In fact, it appeared to be dedicated to the Archangel Michael and was built next to the Princes Ventimiglia ancient castle during the first half of the 14th century.

The church interior has two aisles, of which the right one is larger than the other, divided by five pillars with square brick capitals and a wider cubic base; the main nave is covered by a single barrel vault, while the side aisle has a wooden ceiling. On the walls and pillars, which separate the two aisles of the church, are hung fourteen paintings with the Via Crucis stations. On the church floor there are several tombstones in which are engraved inscriptions and dates ranging from 1681 to the second half of the XIX century; Indeed, before the Municipal Cemetery construction outside the town (1886), the deceased remains were buried in churches.

Above the main entrance there is a wooden choir where is located the oldest organ preserved in Gratteri, built during XVIII century. Several traces of the brick hexagonal floor remain, while the current floor is tiled with ceramic. The church is also seat for the two oldest brotherhoods: the Blessed Sacrament brotherhood, under the title of St. Joseph, and the Madonna of the Rosary brotherhood.

Next to the church, inside the walls of the old Ventimiglia Castle, it is located a bell tower with an octagonal spire, which houses seven different sizes bells. Behind the high altar, where the marble statue of the Madonna with Child made by the Gagini great art school can be admired, which is based on the Nativity of Christ scene with the Annunciation of the Virgin scene at its sides, and where are also located the two burial monuments of Maria Filangeri, Lorenzo Ventimiglia wife (1650), and his nephew Gaetano, Belmonte Prince (1744).

History and Archaeology
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  • Unione Europea
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  • Regione Sicilia
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