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St Leone Basilica

  • Address
    Via Crisa 294, Assoro (Italy)
  • Web
  • Visiting Hours
  • What to see
    Madonna delivering from Hell statue


The Basilica of San Leone in Assoro, built in 1186, represents an architectural jewel with ancient Sicilian and Greek roots. It exhibits an Arab-Norman Gothic style, evident in its Latin cross structure and sumptuously decorated interior with spiral columns, Catalan stylistic features, and Renaissance artwork. The church, declared a national monument in 1933, has a significant connection with the Camino de Santiago in Sicily, as its history dates back to the marriage of Constance of Altavilla, the last descendant of the Norman kings, celebrated in 1186. The basilica, consecrated as a minor basilica in 1499, offers a unique artistic and historical experience, enriched by medieval and Renaissance symbols.

The Basilica of San Leone in Assoro attracts visitors not only for its majestic Arab-Norman Gothic architecture, but also for its symbols and works of art that may date back to the ancient cult of the goddess Demeter. The statue of “Our Lady Delivering from Hell” and sculptures depicting saints, including St. Leo the Wonderworker, highlight the rich Christian symbolism. The presence of elements related to pagan worship, such as the pomegranate, suggests a possible assimilation of ancient traditions into Christian culture. This basilica, with its historical and symbolic connections, can be considered a significant stop on the Camino de Santiago route in Sicily, offering pilgrims an experience rich in spirituality and history.

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