The church is one of the few buildings that remained intact after the earthquake of 1693, which caused over 60,000 deaths and destroyed almost completely nearby cities like Catania, Ragusa, Noto and Syracuse.
A first church, with the adjacent Dominican convent, was built on this place in 1461, the year in which the Dominicans settled in Modica.
The original church was destroyed by the earthquake of 1613 and was rebuilt in 1678, to survive a few years later the great earthquake of 1693.
During the Inquisition, the convent was used as a court in which were judged the ones accused of heresy. Beginning with 1869, the convent became the seat of the Town Hall of Modica.
The facade of the church has two orders. On the first order, we can find the portal surmounted by a large Dominican coat of arms, and two niches with as many statues. On the second order, there are also two niches housing two statues and a rectangular window in the center.
The interior has a nave with a barrel vault and is full of interesting paintings from the 16th century. Inside, we can also find a chapel, once reserved for the friars, richly decorated with frescoes and stuccoes from the 18th century.
In the atrium, there is an interesting underground crypt from the 17th century, discovered by Giovanni Modica Scala in the mid-20th century. The crypt contains bone remains, probably belonging to the Dominican friars.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Domenico is located about 1 kilometer away from the Modica railway station. To easily find the church on foot, use the map below.