This stunning example of 12 and 13th century religious architecture is one of the most-prized landmarks in all of Messina. That’s because a 1908 earthquake leveled much of the city but let this prestigious structure untouched. Today, Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani (Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani) is used as a church for the nearby University, but travelers can still visit the place and take in much of its original splendor.
From the western entrance, travelers will find three ancient doors that decorate a remarkably well-preserved façade. Once inside, they’ll be greeted by towering Corinthian columns in yellow, white and red stone. An iconic statue of Don Juan of Austria—with his foot standing atop the head of Ali Bassa, an Ottoman leader—is located towards the rear of the church.
The church is located at Via Garibaldi Giuseppe, 111, 98122 Messina ME in Italy. It is between the Duomo and the University of Messina. It is open Monday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. It is free to enter.