Aidone – Church of Santa Maria la Cava

Via Luca, 1, Aidone, 94010 EN, Italia
Chiesa ad Aidone - Chiesa Santa Maria la Cava

A very ancient church in Aidone is the one dedicated to Santa Maria la Cava, as it was founded in 1134 AD by Princess Adelasi, granddaughter of Grand Count Ruggero I. After becoming a widow in 1132 AD, she had a church built with an adjoining tower, as was customary at the time, and dedicated it to Santa Maria, to whom the Normans were spiritually linked for their victories and celebrated the festival in August, during breaks in the wars.

Later, the church was donated to the Benedictines, who built a convent and endowed the church with four large estates in the districts of Ginestrella, Commenda, Pranietto, and Portella.

Inside, the church has several chapels dedicated to saints, as the nobles were very devout. The style of the church is eclectic but classical, the work of the architect-sculptor Filippo Dell’Ospedalis. The current apse of our church and the base of the tower with a ribbed vault in Arab-Norman style somehow reflect the motif of Romanesque art.

Externally, the structure has a lower facade that follows the classical style of the Greek temple, as the six false pillars are divided into four central and two lateral ones, made of local sandstone and topped by a two-band lintel; while the upper part has been divided by cornices at different levels with stone dripstones.

Finally, the artist placed windows above the two false doors to aesthetically resemble Sicilian Baroque style.