MOTTA SANTA ANASTASIA
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Motta S. Anastasia is a city of nearly 10,000 standing at some 275m a.s.l on the Southern slopes of the Etna volcano
The Greek relics found at the Ardizzone area, going back to the 5th-4th BC, testify to its remote roots. A 5th century BC Greek necropolis and Roman coins and mosaic were successively discovered.
In the early 1500 it was a feudal estate, belonged to Antonio Moncada, Count of AdernÚ. During the 18th and 19th century it saw a remarkable urban growth; in 1820, it finally became an autonomous municipality. According to some, its two names, Motta and Anastasia, are respectively of pre-Roman and Greek-Byzantine origin and have the same meaning referring to the place where the town lies.
Motta S. Anastasia has a charming medieval design developing around the Castle, the Mother Church and the Church of the Immaculate. Along with a section of the outer walls, they are all that remains of the ancient city.
The Norman castle, built at Roger Iís behest in 1070,† has an imposing rectangular tower, about 21m tall, covered with a battled terrace, and is divided into three levels, two of which respectively reserved for the troops and the officials. The castle successively belonged to the Catania Bishop, the Count of Aidone Enrico il Rosso, Rinaldo Perollo, King Alfonso of Aragon, the Count of AdernÚ Antonio Moncada. The Motta Municipality finally bought it in the early 1900.
The 1200ís Mother Church was enlarged and partly refurbished in the 15th ad 16th centuries. It is dedicated to Santa Maria del Rosario and is particularly renowned for its altarpiece, a painting and a 1500ís Crucifix. Outside, it features a fine bell-tower in the 1700ís style.
The Chiesa dellíImmacolata (or Chiesa del Santissimo Sacramento) also contains important works such as an image of the Immaculate Conception, 1600ís and 1700ís paintings and a half-bust of St. Agatha within a niche decorated with frescoes.
A final mention must go to the Chiesa di SantíAntonio da Padova, preserving a relic of the Saint and precious stained glass mosaics.