Basilica di Santa Trofimena
More photos - Basilica di Santa Trofimena
Saint Trofimena was a young Sicilian martyr whose bones were found on Minori's beach and carried by a small herd of white heifer to the area where locals built temple to honour the martyr, died refusing to marry a pagan man. On the same spot, when in 987 Minori became an episcopal see, the cathedral was built over the temple, as this was the most sacred spot of the village.
From the original temple there are only two apses left visible on the outside of the Church.
On the inside the sacred chapel was totally surrounded by the XI-XII larger Basilica, and incorporated within the crypt. From the outside the Saint Trofimena's Basilica deploys all the episcopal grandeur of the times, the main façade faces the sea, raised above street level is surrounded by a stone balustrade, which opens onto a wide flight of stairs. The outer part of the Basilica was strongly renovated and changed in the XIX century, and decorated with late baroque ornaments. The façade is divided into three areas: the one surmounting the main entrance there are cooing angels and an image of the Saint framed within an oval niche.
The inside of the Church is extraordinarily bright as the nave is higher then the aisles and the four arches below the vault allow a great amount of light to shine into the Church, making all the decorations and the grand architecture appear even more impressive.
The rich and elegant baroque stucco on the the tunnel vault of the nave are indeed greatly enhanced by the light that constantly filters into the church. There is a real sense of holiness and divinity in St. Trofimena's Basilica, the great and spectacular decorations surely are what create such feeling. On the central arcade there is a stucco with Minori's coat of arms. On the nave there is a painting with St. Trofimena and Minori's co-patrons, St. Andrea and St. Matteo. At the bottom of the nave, on the right side behind the organ there is a pulpit, built with very precious marble, on two small columns.
St. Trofimena's altars all in precious marble are one of the most important elements of the Cathedral.
On the right of the main altar there is a chapel with a Raffaello's school painting of the Resurrection of Christ. On the main altar there is Marco Pino's painting of the Crucifixion. The most evocative element of the Church is certainly the two aisles and a nave crypt, just below the presbytery, where in alabaster urn there are St. Trofimena's relics. The Saint chose to rest on these shores and locals are extremely devout to their Saint patron, who is celebrated five times a years. A very privileged Saint Patron!
Just outside St. Trofimena's Basilica in the Annunziata quarter, there is a stunning steeple dating back to the XII century, which is the only remain of a former Church.
When the Annunziata Church was demolished in 1950, locals cared for the steeple to be spared, and thus slightly renovated, as it was really a landmark within Minori's landscape. The steeple is richly decorated with inlays and is topped by a tambour roof. Being very high, and located on the hill side of town, the peculiar steeple is made even more beautiful by the fact that the it almost blends in with the surrounding vegetation.