The Church of San Giacomo Apostolo (Saint James the Apostle) is a church in Ragusa, located inside the Hyblean Garden (Giardino Ibleo), in the eastern part of Ragusa Ibla, the ancient center of the city.
The church was built in the 13th or 14th century, probably between 1283 and 1392, by the will of the Chiaramonte family – the Aragonese eagle above the high altar indicates that period. The Confraternity of San Giacomo was associated with the church from the beginning, taking care of its services and functions.
Before 1693, the church had three naves, but the earthquake of that year ruined it, and a few years later, the confraternity decided to rebuild it with only one nave.
The roof of the church was added in 1705 and, between 1719 and 1720, the interior was decorated with several paintings by Giuseppe Pugliarello and Filippo De Stefano. In 1734, the master Simone Ventura of Chiaramonte was comissioned to realize the decoration of the wooden roof.
The current facade was built in 1902 by Giuseppe Pinelli. Today, the church is administered by the same Confraternity of Saint James.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The facade has three orders, of which the upper one is represented by the bell tower. On the sides of the bell tower, there are balustrades on which are placed two statues. The one on the left depicts Saint James in the role of a pilgrim. At the base of the bell tower, there is a bas-relief which represents San Giacomo as a soldier, with a drawn sword.
The interior has a single nave with a rectangular apse and five chapels on each side. On the main altar, there is the wooden statue of Saint James.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Giacomo Apostolo is located about 3.1 kilometers away from the Ragusa railway station and 3.7 kilometers from the city’s bus terminal. To find the church on foot, use the map below.