Church of St Francis or Immaculate Conception
The Church of St Francis or Immaculate Conception in the historic centre of Agrigento.
According to Pirri, the church was built by Frederick II Chiaramonte, the third son of Marchisia Prefoglio and Lord of Racalmuto, Siculiana and Favara. In 1313, Costanza Chiaramonte bound five barrels of wine per year as a dowry to the family chapel located in the church, In the sacred building were buried the old lords of Agrigento.
It was built in its present form in 1788. According to the Baroque tradition, the Church lies before us as a theatrical backdrop, presenting the facade, framed by two towers, divided into three superimposed orders, following the well-known Roman models already proposed in Agrigento in the façade of the Church of San Francesco di Paola.
The interior is made of a single nave with six side altars of the same size. It was seriously damaged by the air raid of 12 July 1943. The vault was superbly frescoed by Domenico Provenzani of Palma di Montechiaro (1736 – 1791), master of technique and color. Noteworthy is the Madonna of the Chain by Gagini. Another treasure is the artistic wooden crucifix of the 18th century made by Vittorio Cardinale.
Excerpt from the book “Agrigento, visita del Centro Storico” by Giuseppe Di Giovanni. Courtesy of the author. Translated by Michele Gallo