St. Nicholas church
In 1669 St. Nicholas church was partially destroyed by an eruption which surrounded the city of Catania, widening the cost for more then 1 km. The St. Nicholas church in Catania is one of the largest Catholic church buildings in Sicily, measuring 105 meters long and 48 meters wide aisles and about 71 meters to the transept, with a maximum height of about 66 meters to the dome. The church was redesigned by the roman architect Giovanni Battista Contini (1641-1723) and rebuilt from 1687.
The project reveals celebratory intent of the order. The wide surface of the building was designed to guest as many worshippers as possible and the greatness of the church was conceived to highlight the power and richness achieved by the cenoby of Catania.
In 1693 the building work was stopped by the tragic earthquake which destroyed the eastern side of Sicily. In 1730 the building site was opened again. After a dispute between the benedictine monks and the company responsible for finishing the work, the church was confiscated by the Reign of Italy so the facade of the church remained unfinished.
The chapel was officially deconsecrated during World War II and reconsecrated in 1989 when it was also returned to the benedectine monks.
The church has been restored for a long time but it is still incomplete.