Portale di San Giorgio (Portal of Saint George) is a monument in Ragusa, located in Ragusa Ibla – the ancient center of the city, a few meters away from the Hyblean Garden and the Church of San Vincenzo Ferreri. The Portal is part of the ancient Church of San Giorgio, now demolished.
During the second half of the 11th century, Geoffrey, the second eldest son of Roger I of Sicily and the Count of Ragusa, took care of the ancient Church of San Giorgio, expanding it. The Portal of Saint George was built during the first half of the 13th century in Catalan Gothic style, as part of the church.
Starting with 1308, the church passed under the patronage of the noble Chiaramonte family, and later, after 1382, under the patronage of the Cabrera family, which began extensive reconstruction works on the building.
In the 16th century, the Church of San Giorgio was rebuilt, but suffered some damage during the earthquake of 1542. During the 17th century, Pope Urban VIII proclaimed St. George patron saint of the town, and the church became the most important church in Ragusa.
The earthquake of 1693 seriously damaged the church and, in 1718, the building was demolished. From the ancient church, to this day, only the Portal of San Giorgio remains.
The Portal of San Giorgio is built from blocks of limestone with a light pink color. The lunette above the architrave represents Saint George who pierces the dragon with a spear.
The arch is contained between two fluted pilasters and the upper space is enriched by two large lozenges, inside which is found the Ragusa eagle. The interstices between the lines of the arch are adorned with imaginary figures, flowers and leaves.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Portal of Saint George is located about 2.8 kilometers from the Ragusa railway station and about 3.6 kilometers from the city’s bus terminal. To find the monument on foot, use the map below.