Duomo

sights / Religious

Duomo information

Messina , Italy
Address
Street Piazza del Duomo
Opening hours
7am-7pm Mon-Sat, 7.30am-1pm & 4-7.30pm Sun
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Lonely Planet review

Messina's one great sight is the Norman Duomo, one of Sicily's finest cathedrals, or at least a faithful replica of one of Sicily's finest cathedrals. It holds an impressive carved altar and a huge inlaid organ, the third largest in Europe. The original cathedral was built in the 12th century and accidentally burnt to the ground in 1254. It was rebuilt several times.

The earthquakes of 1783 and 1908 destroyed it, and the structure was ruined again when a WWII incendiary bomb reduced it to rubble in 1943. Very little remains of the original structure, except for the stripy marble inlay, the tracery of the facade and the fantastic Catalan Gothic portal. Treasures such as the famous Manta d'Oro (Golden Mantle), used to 'cloak' holy pictures during religious celebrations, are kept in the Museo della Cattedrale.