The Cathedral of Ragusa was designed in 1760 by two local architects. Located in Piazza San Giovanni, it has a large facade rich in baroque decorations and massive columns, as well as a huge entrance. The internal structure has three aisles and outside stands a tall bell tower.
What to see in Ragusa Ibla
The descent towards Ragusa Ibla can also be done on foot, thanks to the old road (and only in the past) that connects the upper city. Shoes should be comfortable, so ladies should avoid heels. There are only 340 steps to go.
If you prefer to take the car you will enjoy the view of the city from different perspectives: especially at night, the lights that illuminate the small streets and houses huddled with each other on the hillside, present a unique display of its own: many seem to be in front of a real man-sized model.
It’s important to remember that the entrance to the historic center of Ibla, because of the small access roads, is permitted only to vehicles of residents. You can leave your car in the parking lots available in Ragusa Ibla.
The Cathedral of St. George is the most impressive building of Ragusa Ibla and an undisputed jewel of Sicilian Baroque. Preceded by a spacious staircase, the church was completed at the end of the eighteenth century almost forty years after the start of its construction.
Its structure with three aisles dominates the square. Today it is surrounded by a gate, made of wrought iron in the year 1880, and which is closed in the evening hours. The facade is richly decorated in baroque, but its imposing structure seems to have inherited Gothic features. On the inside, the stained glass windows from 1926 depict the thirteen episodes of the martyrdom of St. George.
Historical Background of Ragusa
The first traces of settlements in the area date back to around the third millennium BC, with finds dating back to the ninth and eighth centuries BC with more abundant local populations. The high incentives were the abundant inland waterways which presented favorable conditions for primitive populations who settled in this area.
The fate of the city mirrored those of the rest of Sicily, with the alternating conquests of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Muslims. It became an important agricultural and administrative center throughout the Middle-Ages, and also suffered the tragic events of the earthquake of 1693.
The reconstruction that followed kept the characteristic shape of the town: part of the population decided to rebuild the city in the previous area, while others moved to engage the new city on the hill of Patro. Thus, they were constituting two different urban agglomerations, in many ways even in opposition to one another, so as to be split in 1865 into two different municipalities. The Ragusa of today is a lively reality in the region, especially after extensive restoration done in recent years, which have restored the splendor of the past.
Ragusa by Night
The evenings in Ragusa pass quickly and pleasantly. Since Ibla hosts various campuses, during the winter the streets are full of students. There are many places where you can drink something, fine restaurants, pubs and craft shops that sell local products.
The frizzantine summer evenings welcome the many tourists that fill the elegant streets, the shops display their products until late in the evening allowing for a little shopping even at unusual times.
The location is very romantic, highly recommended for young couples and families.