Impressive Baroque cathedral
Built above the Roman baths of Achilles - whose remains can be visited, accessing the underground - in the place of the martyrdom of Sant'Agata, and dedicated to the virgin patroness of the Etna city, the Cathedral of Catania is the most important monument of the historic center, because it condenses in itself the artistic expressions of nine long centuries.
The construction of the Cathedral dates back to 1094, at the behest of the Norman king Roger of Altavilla, and has suffered numerous destructions due to devastating earthquakes and frequent volcanic eruptions. With its initial dual function of church and fortress, today stands in all its grandeur in Piazza Duomo.
Of the original Norman construction, only the body of the transept remains, the two hub towers and the three circular apses. Added to this are two new styles, the result of renovations over time: the bases of some columns are of Swabian matrix, while the facade of the Cathedral, with its 14 Roman granite columns, is in Sicilian Baroque.
To represent a continuity with the past is the marble side entrance portal. Also worthy of special attention are the works preserved inside the Cathedral, including the seventeenth-century fresco depicting the eruption of Mount Etna, located in the sacristy.