The town was founded in the IX century A.D. by people who ran away from the invasion of the Arabs. The Mother Church of the SS. Annunziata (XVIII c.) The Church of S. Lorenzo has a very simple facade. Convent of S. Filippo di Fragalà – 3 km from Frazzanò in the direction of Longi. The Basilian church, was built by Roger I d’Altavilla in the eleventh century, most likely on the ruins of a pre-existing church of the fifth century.
According to tradition, the town was founded in the 9th century AD by people who ran away from the invasion of the Arabs. The Mother Church of the SS. Annunziata (18th c.) in the central square of the village there is this beautiful church with a beautiful baroque façade marked by pilasters and enriched by an elegant portal, flanked by twisted columns and niches with statues.
According to an ancient tradition it was built in 1117, at the behest of Queen Adelasia, mother of Roger II, who was forced to leave Jerusalem because she was repudiated by King Baldwin I and escaped a fearful shipwreck that forced her to land on the beach of Cape Agatirsio, now Capo d’Orlando, had this church built by vow, dedicating it to the Annunziata.
The church was enlarged between 1570 and 1716 under the reign of King Victor Amadeus of Savoy. The prospectus, completed in 1716 by the palermitan sculptor Tommaso Scudo, is of a beautiful simple baroque style. The façade, covered with Aluntino marble, has three portals, the larger central one is bordered by two twisted columns.
The interior, divided into three large naves by monumental columns, is characterized by the presence of elegant stucco frames. Of particular admiration is the majestic high altar, the Baroque style, the work of the Myrtle Philadelphia Allò. Eight meters high and finely carved in wood, it was covered by Sciuga from Palermo with very thin sheets of pure gold, dated 1756.
The Church of S. Lorenzo
In the place where the church stands today, it was at the time of the Greeks, the church of San Nicolò di Bari, whose bells, according to an ancient legend, sounded by themselves at the birth of the patron saint St. Lorenzo, around 1120, has a very simple facade, whose only important element is a beautiful portal with two twisted columns on each side and sculptural decorations with floral motifs, cherubs and volutes. Inside there is a valuable wooden statue of the Saint (1620).
The church, begun in 1555 after the collapse of the primitive one located in the old quarter of San Lorenzo, was enlarged around 1699. For the construction of the bell tower, which took place in 1623, was used the stone of the castle of the Saracens of Belmonte. The prospectus, completed in 1714, is baroque style with four twisted columns of local marble, resting on capitals similar to those of the Mother Church.
The interior is divided into three naves
In the central aisle you can admire the majestic high altar that houses the venerated relics of St. Lawrence and the statue carved in the Monastery of Fragalà by Antonio Pellegrino from Palermo. The wooden case of the high altar, decorated in pure gold and dated 1681, stands 6.65 meters high. Of notable importance is the baroque style of the Patron Saint Lorenzo, sculpted in 1689 by the Mirtese Filadelfo Allò and covered with very thin sheets of pure gold by Domenico di Giovanni from Palermo.
Convent of S. Filippo di Fragalà
The abbey rises at about 2 Km from the village, it was built by Count Roger and his wife Adelasia in 1090, and was an important center of cultures and hagiographic research. Today the monastery no longer houses the friars. Its very rich library, which held valuable volumes, was transferred to the state archives of Palermo after 1866. This monastery also has the unique privilege of having hosted, for part of its street, S. Lorenzo Confessor.
It is advisable to stop and observe the abbey complex from the outside, when you are underneath: you can see the three apses in Arab-Norman style, marked by brick pilasters and the octagonal drum that is located at the cross of the transept. The church has a T-shaped plan and inside, particularly in the central apse, there are traces of Byzantine frescoes. Next to it you can visit the rooms of the monastery.
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