The Church of San Giuseppe in Ragusa is located just around the corner from the San Giorgio Cathedral. The main feature of this church with an oval floor plan is its elaborately decorated facade.
San Giuseppe Church Ragusa
Address: Via Valverde, 9 – 97100 Ragusa. Phone: +39 0932 621779. Opening times: From 09:00 till 12:00 and from 16:00 till 18:00. Ticket price: Free. (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The Baroque Church of San Giuseppe is located on the site where the Church of San Tommaso used to be. The latter church had been completely destroyed during the 1693 earthquake.
According to some historians, on the basis of similarities to other Sicilian churches, the architect was Rosario Gagliardi. Gagliardi, however, supposedly had already stopped working by then, so others attribute the work to Fra Alberto Maria di San Giovanni Battista.
Construction of the new church took a long time and was spread out over different phases. Initial works were carried out between 1701 and 1705, while the second phase lasted from 1723 to 1737.
What was left of the former San Tommaso Church was added in 1756. The original Baroque design of the church was in these years changed into an art-nouveau style.
The bottom part of the convex facade is characterized by four Corinthean columns. The frieze above the portal is decorated with plant motifs. The statues next to the portal depict Sant’Agostino and San Gregorio. The statues near the corners depict Santa Gertruda and Santa Scolastica.
The second level of the facade has a central window with a wrought iron gate. The statues represents the saint Benedict and Mauro.
The third level of the facade is the bell tower. The three bells were added in the mid 19th century.
The interior, oval in shape, is characterized by pillars with Ionic capitals and matroneums from where the nuns could attend mass. There are five altars. The floor is covered with majolica tiles and white limestone slabs inlaid with black pitchstone.
What to see
Sebastiano lo Monaco painted the “Glory of San Giuseppe and San Benedetto” on the domed vault.
Tommaso Pollace was responsible for the ‘Santa Gertruda”.
Giuseppe Crestadoro painted the “Holy Family”.
The silver statue depicting “San Giuseppe” dates back to the 17th century.