Chiesa Anime Sante del Purgatorio


Just off the corso in the heart of the city, this church houses the impressive 18th-century misteri, 20 life-sized wooden effigies depicting the story of Christ's Passion, which take centre stage during the city's dramatic Easter Week processions every year. Explanatory panels in English, Italian, French and German help visitors to understand the story behind each figure.

Some of the statues are originals; others are copies of statues that were destroyed by WWII Allied bombings or irreparably damaged after being dropped by their bearers during a procession (the statues are heavy and unwieldy, and mishaps sometimes occur).

Each statue was commissioned and is now carried by members of a particular profession. For example, Jesus Before Herod was commissioned by the Millers and Bakers Guild; Jesus Entombed, by the Pasta-Makers Guild; and The Whipping, by the Bricklayers and Stonemasons Guild. One of the figures, The Ascent of Calvary, isn't claimed by a particular guild, but is instead accompanied by the Trapanese people at large.