Church of Purgatory - Trapani

Church of Purgatory

The church of Purgatory was designed by architect Pietro Castro at the behest of Rev. Domenico Viola and built in 1688. Between 1712 and 1714 its façade was enriched by Trapani-born Giovanni Biagio Amico who built it in the Roman Baroque style of Francesco Borromini (a façade in movement, undulating due to use of indentations and ledges) crowning the top with twelve stone statues of the Apostles plastered by Alberto Orlando.

The central part of the façade is tower-like and recalls similar architecture in eastern Sicily, built after the 1693 earthquake.

The interior has the form of a Latin cross and has three naves separated by columns and arches.
Here the Trapani “Mysteries” are kept; eighteen groups of statues in wood, canvas and glue from the 17th and 18th centuries, evoking episodes of the Passion of Christ, as well as the statues of Gesù nell’urna (Jesus lying in a glass coffin) and the Addolorata (the Mourning Virgin). All of them are paraded and carried on shoulders from 2pm on Good Friday until Saturday morning in an impressive mass procession.