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Contrada Badiazza

Church of Santa Maria della Valle (La Badiazza)

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LOCATION: OUTSIDE THE URBAN. Via G. Denaro, SS 113 towards Palermo, right side DATING: XII-XIII SEC. DESCRIPTION: Example of a fortress church from the Norman era as well as one of the rarest and most fascinating medieval monuments of its kind in Sicily; it rises in an inaccessible and isolated place, in the high valley of the “Ritiro” stream, on the Peloritani mountains. In the thirteenth century it was severely damaged following a fire set by the French during the Vespers war, and was later restored by Frederick II of Aragon. The annexed convent of Benedictine nuns was abandoned in 1347; the church, once very rich in marble and mosaics, was over time largely filled with alluvial debris from the stream; today, an adequate restoration has restored it to its original beauty. SOURCES: Reworking of various sources by the Helios Study Center

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