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The Cathedral of Messina, dedicated to our Lady of the Assumption, is located in the historic centre of Messina, on the large Piazza del Duomo..

The temple was built during the Empire of Justinian I by Belisarius in the year 535.
The original structures of the building, along the course of the centuries, have been the subject of frequent transformations, sometimes with the addition of architectural and decorative elements along with the taste of time. This was almost always related to the settlement of foreign populations and dominant cultures and injuries inflicted by disastrous events, especially from earthquakes, and the consequent need to rebuild all or part.

At the dawn of the 28 December 1908, at the first tremors of the earthquake of Messina, the building almost completely collapsed and was later rebuilt in the 1920s.
The war of 1943 reduced the building to ashes again, saving only the perimeter structures.
The 13 of August 1947 the Cathedral was reopened for worship by Pope Pius XII. The statues, the marbles and mosaics are almost all valuable copies of lost originals.

The façade of the Cathedral has salients, topped with a battlement. The lower part is decorated in horizontal lists of polychrome marbles and marquetries , While the upper part is all of stone, with three Gothic Lancet Windows and a rose window, enriched by elegant hurdles. In correspondence to the three naves there are as many Gothic portals. The central portal was realized in 1412 by Antonio Baboccio da Piperno.



The Messina international fair is the oldest fair in the world, established by Frederick II of Swabia, that was held, in ancient times, in the “plain” between the Royal Gates and the Church. of Francesco di Paola, at North of the town walls.

The fair, paradigm of a city naturally devoted for its position to trade, had fortune over the centuries, tapping its apex in the 15th century and with the Union of Italy, and in the last decades of the 19th century, thanks to opening of the Suez Canal that brings back Messina to the center of the Mediterranean routes.

The earthquake of 1908 deletes even this very important institution. In 1938 the fascist regime lays the first stone of the new Fiera di Messina (Fair of Messina), converted into the Fair of Sicilian Economic Activities, in the place where it stands today, the large garden at sea of the ex “Chalet” (on an extension of over 50.000 m²).

Designed as “a court open to the sea”, the sixteen pavilions of the fair were heavily bombed during the Second World War. The fair will reorganize in record time and reopen in 1946. Over the decades till today, the fair sees decisive interventions of important Italian architects as Filippo Rovigo and Vincenzo Pantano.




The Palazzo della Cultura (Palace of culture), or simply Palacultura, is a multipurpose centre of Messina. Finished in 2009, consists of three buildings host offices for culture, the largest city library, a theatre with 850 seat, an auditorium for music and outdoor exhibition Salon located on terrace.


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