Caltagirone
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Varie 1 - Fine Art Produzioni
Known as the “City of Ceramics” Caltagirone, is situated in an area that overlooks the Catania and Gela plains, and the Erei and Iblei mountains. For over two thousand years it has been a privileged stronghold for the Byzantines, Arabs, Genoese and Normans.
Numismatic exhibits, art exhibits and documents testify to its ancient origin and identify it as one of the most important Sicani and Siculi centers. Monumental traces of this ancient past are found in prehistoric necropolis in the Rocca, the Mountain, Salvatorello, Pille and the settlements of San Mauro, Altobrando, Piano, Casazze and others. Rare artifacts attest to the Roman, Byzantine and Saracen domination, from which the city was temporarily released in 1030 through the intervention of the Genoese.
Caltagirone under Muslim rule was conquered by Ruggero I of Sicily (also known as the Great Count Ruggero the Norman) at dawn on July 25, 1090; this is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the martyrdom of San Giacomo Maggiore. The Count attributed the supernatural intervention of the latter for his victory, and for this reason Caltagirone chose him as patron, replacing San Nicola of Myra.
After the Normans, came the domination by the Swabian and Angevin, who were later expelled from the island following the Sicilian Vespers.
In 1542 an earthquake destroyed most of the city, but it was the earthquake of 11 January, 1693 that caused devastating damage to the town. Historic buildings, churches and works of art were destroyed. The resulting reconstruction did not dramatically change the late-Renaissance layout represented by the crux viarum; formed vertically from the Santa Maria del Monte Staircase and the Corso, and horizontally from Via San Giorgio and Via San Giacomo. Architects used a clever interplay of perspectives and in the reconstruction to create the city’s current appearance, which in 2002 allowed the historic center of Caltagirone to win the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Caltagirone is closely linked to the history and evolution of ceramic art. Its origins date back to prehistoric times and its development continued under the many different rulers and cultures that dominated over the centuries. Numerous clay pits and plenty of forests for timber, essential to fuel the furnaces, helped foster its growth.
The 20th century saw the applied affirmation of using decorative terracotta in architecture. Evidence of this can be found in the monumental cemetery, villas, palaces and houses in Caltagirone and the rest of Sicily. Even today, artisan workshops produce majolica, pottery and figurines by recovering local tradition, innovating and transforming this art.
Since December 2003, the DECOP (Designation of municipal origin) brand has characterized the ceramics of Caltagirone, as unique and linked to the craftsmanship found in central and southern Italy.

 

 

  Click to listen highlighted text! Known as the “City of Ceramics” Caltagirone, is situated in an area that overlooks the Catania and Gela plains, and the Erei and Iblei mountains. For over two thousand years it has been a privileged stronghold for the Byzantines, Arabs, Genoese and Normans. Numismatic exhibits, art exhibits and documents testify to its ancient origin and identify it as one of the most important Sicani and Siculi centers. Monumental traces of this ancient past are found in prehistoric necropolis in the Rocca, the Mountain, Salvatorello, Pille and the settlements of San Mauro, Altobrando, Piano, Casazze and others. Rare artifacts attest to the Roman, Byzantine and Saracen domination, from which the city was temporarily released in 1030 through the intervention of the Genoese. Caltagirone under Muslim rule was conquered by Ruggero I of Sicily (also known as the Great Count Ruggero the Norman) at dawn on July 25, 1090; this is the day the Catholic Church celebrates the martyrdom of San Giacomo Maggiore. The Count attributed the supernatural intervention of the latter for his victory, and for this reason Caltagirone chose him as patron, replacing San Nicola of Myra. After the Normans, came the domination by the Swabian and Angevin, who were later expelled from the island following the Sicilian Vespers. In 1542 an earthquake destroyed most of the city, but it was the earthquake of 11 January, 1693 that caused devastating damage to the town. Historic buildings, churches and works of art were destroyed. The resulting reconstruction did not dramatically change the late-Renaissance layout represented by the crux viarum; formed vertically from the Santa Maria del Monte Staircase and the Corso, and horizontally from Via San Giorgio and Via San Giacomo. Architects used a clever interplay of perspectives and in the reconstruction to create the city’s current appearance, which in 2002 allowed the historic center of Caltagirone to win the title of UNESCO World Heritage Site. Caltagirone is closely linked to the history and evolution of ceramic art. Its origins date back to prehistoric times and its development continued under the many different rulers and cultures that dominated over the centuries. Numerous clay pits and plenty of forests for timber, essential to fuel the furnaces, helped foster its growth. The 20th century saw the applied affirmation of using decorative terracotta in architecture. Evidence of this can be found in the monumental cemetery, villas, palaces and houses in Caltagirone and the rest of Sicily. Even today, artisan workshops produce majolica, pottery and figurines by recovering local tradition, innovating and transforming this art. Since December 2003, the DECOP (Designation of municipal origin) brand has characterized the ceramics of Caltagirone, as unique and linked to the craftsmanship found in central and southern Italy.    

 

 


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