Caltagirone, city of ceramics

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Caltagirone a city of some 39,000 inhabitants is a town in the province of Catania, famous for its Sicilian ceramics. Caltagirone, city of ceramics – (Caltagiruni in Sicilian dialect) is nicknamed the Queen of Mount Erei.
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  • Thank you Marie and Mirka for adding this presentation to your favourites, THANKS
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  • You did a very interesting serie about Sicilia. Thanks for showing these places.
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  • The capital of Sicilian majolica Caltagirone ("Caltagiruni" in Sicilian dialect) is nicknamed the Queen of Mount Erei. Located in the centre of the eastern part of the Province of Catania, its fame derives from the production, both ancient and modern, of the most refined, hand-painted Sicilian ceramics. For more than two thousand years Caltagirone was a stronghold in this part of Sicily for the Byzantine, Arab and Norman empires who controlled the plains of Gela and Catania from this position. Its historic centre is rich in churches, palaces and 18th century villas but the monument which really makes this place famous is the majolica staircase which has become a symbol of the city. The municipality is located in the Val di Noto which is classified as a UNESCO world heritage site. In the city's gracious and welcoming historic centre there are numerous shops selling ceramics and majolica; some only specialise in the sale of souvenirs to tourists but others display examples of true majolica ware, hand-made by Sicilian craftsmen, both new and antique. These hand-painted works include dinner services, bowls, vases and objects of various kinds, however, the famous Heads of Caltagirone representing historical and mythical figures, such as Saracen and Moorish warriors, are truly outstanding. Garden tables decorated with lava stone cut in various shapes and sizes are also very popular.
  • The Arabs defined the place as Oal'at al Ghàrun, that is "The hill of the vases", findind a flourishing artigianal activity at the moment of the conquest of the village (828). The Arabs learned not only the ancient local techniques of the production of ceramic, but contributed to the introduction of innovative systems in the realization of it.
  • Beyond the little church of Sant’Agata, the seat of the ceramicists’ confraternity, stands an austere prison built under the Bourbon rule.
  • Carcere Borbonico – The Bourbon Prison is an imposing square sandstone building recently restored. It was built at the end of the 1700’s by Sicilian architect Natale Bonajuto and used as a prison for about a century. It now houses a small city museum that allows access to its ponderous interior. Museo Civico – The Town Museum hosts, on the second floor, a permanent exhibition of contemporary majolica works. One room harbours the gilt wood and silver litter of San Giacomo that continued to be used in processions on 25 July until 1966. Note the caryatids’ delicate facial features. The third room is dedicated to the Vaccaros, two generations of painters active during the 19th century. Mario Vaccaro’s Little Girl Praying is especially evocative. The first floor accomodates an art-gallery displaying works by Sicilian artists.
  • Piazza Umberto I - The most prominent building facing onto the square is the Duomo di San Giuliano, a great Baroque edifice that has been extensively refurbished over the years, notably the replacement of its whole front in the early 1900’s. This comes into view from the steps below Santa Maria del Monte, at the foot of which, on the left, stands the Palazzo Senatorio with the courtyard Corte Capitaniale, a fine specimen of early civic building by one of the Gaginis in 1601. To the right, a stairway leads up to the Chiesa del Gesù, containing the precious Deposition by Filippo Paladini (third chapel on the left). Behind the building rise the church of S. Chiara, with its elegant façade attributed to Rosario Gagliardi (18th century), and, beyond this, the early 1900’s Officina Elettrica whose façade was designed by Ernesto Basile.
  • San Giorgio and San Giacomo quarters – At the foot of the stairway begins, to right, via Luigi Sturzo, lined with some beautiful buildings, among which are the Palazzo della Magnolia (no. 74) ornamented with an opulent terracotta decoration by Enrico Vella. Just beyond it are the 1800’s churches of S. Domenico and SS. Salvatore, the latter containing the mausoleum of politician Don Luigi Sturzo and a Virgin with the Child by Antonello Gagini. At the end of the street stands the church of San Giorgio dating from between the 11th and 13th centuries. It conserves the panel painting of the Mystery of the Trinity, attributed to the Flemish artist Roger van der Weyden. On the left side of the stairway, begins via Vittorio Emanuele, leading to the Basilica of S. Giacomo, the patron saint of Caltagirone, preserving a silver casket by Gagini, containing the relics of the titular saint.
  • Scala di S. Maria del Monte - This long flight of steps connects the old (at the top) city, the seat of the religious authority, and the new one, where most public offices are located. On either side of this axis lie the two old quarters of San Giorgio and San Giacomo, characterized by narrow streets and concealing fine, mostly religious, buildings. The 142 stair treads are complemented by highly decorative multi-colored maiolica tile uprights bearing various combinations of geometric and organic designs inspired by the animal kingdom, echoing moorish, norman, spanish, baroque or some other more contemporary influence. Once a year the stairway is brought to life by a multitude of flickering little colored candles which pick out a kalediscope of ever changing patterns: swirls, volutes, plant tendrils, female figures and the recurring emblem of the town, an eagle emblazoned with a crossed shield. This fabulous spectacle – when thousands of little candles wrapped in red, yellow or green paper are placed on the steps and lit – takes place on the nights of San Giacomo, 24 and 25 July. At the top of the stairway, sits the Mother Church of Santa Maria del Monte, the former headquarter of the religious authority. Its high altar is graced with a 1200’s painting on panel of the Madonna di Conadimini.
  • The city's name derives from the Arabic "qal'at-al-ghiran" ("Hill of Vases"). It was inhabited since pre-historical times, as attested by the presence of two necropoleis dating from the second millennium BCE and by numerous other archaeological findings. It was later inhabited by the Sicels pre-Roman population. The Arabs built here a castle, which in 1030 was attacked by Ligurian troops under the Byzantine general George Maniakes , and which have left traces of Ligurian language in the current dialect. The city flourished under the Norman and Hohenstaufen domination, becoming a renowned center for production of ceramics. The city was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 . Many public and private buildings have then been reconstructed in earthquake Baroque style. Primarily for this reason, the city has been inserted, together with the surrounding territory in an area protected by the UNESCO World Heritage program.
  • ON THE EDGE OF TOWN A stroll through the typical back streets of the old quarters on the periphery of town will reveal various unexpected surprises, like the neo-Gothic façade of the church of San Pietro (in the district of the same name), complete with majolica decoration. Chiesa dei Cappuccini – Located on the Eastern edge of the city, the church contains a lovely altarpiece by Filippo Paladino, portraying the Virgin Hodegetria being carried on the shoulders of Basilian monks. On the left side of the nave, is a Deposition by Fra’ Semplice da Verona. Next to the church stands an art-gallery displaying paintings ranging in date from the 16th century to the present day. From here, there is access to a crypt where is an unusual crib re-enacting different scenes from the life of Christ; one after the other, the tableaux are illuminated and provided with a short commentary.
  • Villa Comunale – It is a beautiful garden designed by the architect Basile at the half of the 19th century modelled on the English gardens. The edge with via Roma is marked by an ornamented balustrade topped with vases with disturbingly devilish faces alternated with bright green pine-cones and majolica light stands. The garden is threaded by a series of shaded pathways which open out into secluded spaces ornamented by ceramic sculptures, figures and fountains. The most impressive open area is graced with a delightful bandstand decorated with Moorish-looking elements and glazed panels of majolica.
  • Caltagirone, city of ceramics

    1. 1. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/sandamichaela-1208936-caltagirone-city-of-ceramics/
    2. 2. Caltagirone Caltagirone ( Caltagiruni in Sicilian dialect) is nicknamed the Queen of Mount Erei. Located in the centre of the eastern part of the Province of Catania, its fame derives from the production, both ancient and modern, of the most refined, hand-painted Sicilian ceramics. Caltagirone ( Caltagiruni în dialect Sicilian ) este supranumitã Regina Munţilor Erei. Situatã în provincia Catania faima sa se datoreazã celei mai rafinate producţii de ceramicã smãlţuitã şi pictatã din Sicilia, tradiţie milenarã.
    3. 3. The majolica bridge, San Franc e sco bridge , decorated with ceramic tiles , which carries the road into the very heart of the town. Podul San Francesco, decorat cu ceramicã smãlţuitã şi pictatã
    4. 4. Caltagirone The city was almost completely destroyed by the severe earthquake of 1693. Many public and private buildings have then been reconstructed in earthquake Baroque style. Primarily for this reason, the city has been inserted, together with the surrounding territory in an area protected by the UNESCO World Heritage program. Oraşul a fost distrus aproape total de cutremurul catastrofal din 1693. Multe clãdiri publice sau private au fost apoi re construite în stil baroc sicilian , motiv pentru care oraşul a fost inclus în patrimoniul mondial UNESCO. Villa Comunale – modeled on the English gardens
    5. 5. C hutch of San Francesco d'Assisi, edified in 1236 and rebuilt in Baroque style after 1693. The façade has two orders with marine symbols and a statue of the Immaculate. The dome is unfinished.
    6. 6. Ponte San Francesco
    7. 7. Ponte San Francesco
    8. 8. C E R A M I C A Tradizione milenaria Palazzo Sant'Elia e Ponte San Francesco
    9. 9. Caltagirone M any houses have installed ceramic pinecones outside of the doors or on the balconies for luck. The edge of Villa Comunale ( a beautiful garden designed by the architect Basile at the half of the 19th century modelled on the English gardens ) with via Roma is marked by an ornamented balustrade topped with vases with disturbingly devilish faces alternated with bright green pine-cones and majolica light stands. Pe colţul multor balcoane sunt instalate conuri de pin din ceramicã, purtãtoare de noroc. Conurile se aflã de asemenea pe balustrada ornamentalã ce mãrgineşte Parcul oraşului spre Via Roma. Ele nu sunt doar decorative ci au un simbolism spiritual: reprezintã viaţa şi renaşterea, protecţia şi unitatea familiei, dar şi ospitalitatea.
    10. 11. C hiesa di S ant A gatha e C arcere burbonico
    11. 12. The Bourbon Prison is an imposing square sandstone building recently restored. It was built at the end of the 1700’s by Sicilian architect Natale Bonajuto and used as a prison for about a century. It now houses a small city museum The Bourbon Prison is an imposing square sandstone building recently restored. It was built at the end of the 1700’s by Sicilian architect Natale Bonajuto and used as a prison for about a century. It now houses a small city museum
    12. 13. C hiesa di S ant A gatha e C arcere burbonico
    13. 14. C arcere burbonico
    14. 15. Piazza Umberto
    15. 16. Caltagirone The most prominent building facing onto the square Umberto is the Duomo di San Giuliano, a great Baroque edifice that has been extensively refurbished over the years, notably the replacement of its whole front in the early 1900’s. Cea mai impozantã construcţie din Piaţa Umberto este Catedrala San Giuliano, un imens edificiu baroc modificat de-a lungul anilor si a cãrui faţadã a fost înlocuitã total la începutul secolului XX
    16. 17. Duomo di San Giuliano
    17. 18. Duomo di San Giuliano Duomo di San Giuliano
    18. 20. Piazza Umberto
    19. 24. P iazza M unicipio La C orte C apitanale
    20. 25. P iazza M unicipio Palazzo dell'Aquila, ( Palazzo Comunale )
    21. 27. Villa Comunale – It is a beautiful garden designed by the architect Basile at the half of the 19th century modelled on the English gardens Parcul Oraşului, proiectat de arhitectul Basile la sfârşitul secolului XIX după modelul unui parc englezesc
    22. 32. Sound : Musica siciliana Text: Internet Pictures : Internet: slides 1,2,4 Sanda Foişoreanu Otilia Contraş Arangement : Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda

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