The gentle pale blue dome of Saint Catherine Church is a beautiful background for the Pretoria fountain located in the square of the same name. The main entrance of this church is in Bellini square, in front of the famous Martorana Church. Saint Catherine's was built between 1566 and 1596 and preserves a fairly late Renaissance-style facade with a statue of Saint Catherine above the main entrance. The fine choir (or chancel), supported by two red spiral columns, was added in 1685, whereas the dome was built in the middle of the same century. The rich baroque decoration of multicolored marble inlays and bas-reliefs, at the base of the first and second columns, took two centuries to be completed and feature abstract patterns and biblical scenes, such as the story of Jonah and Isaac's sacrifice. The large barrel vault is decorated with fresco paintings, representing the glory of Saint Catherine. The dome is embellished with frescoes by Vito D’Anna, representing the triumph of the Dominican Saints. The sumptuous main altar, surrounded by two fine silver angels, is surmounted by a tabernacle of lapis lazuli and amethyst. A gorgeous altar by A. Palma is set on the right side of the transept, featuring fancy marble inlays, multicolored spiral columns and a fine statue of Saint Catherine by the famous sculptor Antonello Gagini.
- Open Hours: Sunday to Saturday from 09:30 AM to 01:30 PM