Wednesday, September 26, 2012

6th Port: Messina

By the time we got to Messina we were feeling all shore-tripped out. Tevye and I both went for a stroll round, taking it in turns so that the girls could stay on the trip. There isn't much to see in Messina, which was more or less flattened in the early 20th century by an earthquake and then suffered again from bombing during the 2nd World War. The highlight is the cathedral with its rather spectacular bell tower that "chimes" every day at noon. Tevye went earlier in the day so I was the lucky person who arrived in the square just as the bell started its performance.

A close up of the lion at the top of the tower.

This "devotional machine" called La Vara is pulled through the streets of the city on the Feast of the Assumption every August. YouTube has various videos of La Vara in action - the sun with Cherubs round it rotates and Mary (at the top) rises up to heaven. When we were there it was in the square in front of the cathedral, but whether it stays there for the whole year I don't know.

Also part of the Assumption festival celebrations are these two giants, Mata and Grifone, the legendary founders of the city.

The bell tower from the other side, showing its astronomical clock. The building to the right is the Duomo (cathedral).

Also in the square near to the bell tower is the Orion fountain. I'm not sure what this legendary animal was meant to be, but to me it looked like a hippogriff!

This statue of the Madonna blessing the city and its people towers over the harbour entrance.

1 comment:

Missus Wookie said...