A first church, the Church of San Sebastiano, was built on this site in 1486, in Gothic style.
On September 12, 1530, the church was given to the Order of Saint Augustine, and the Augustinians changed its dedication.
As a result of the Royal decree of 1866 for the suppression of religious orders and congregations, the church and the adjacent convent were expropriated and acquired by the Municipality. The complex was used at first as an art gallery, and then as an elementary school.
In 1933, the convent became a library, to house the book heritage of the former monasteries of Sant’Agostino, San Domenico and Sant’Antonio of Padua. The library has over 22,000 volumes, of which 2,000 are dedicated only to Sicily. The library collection consists mainly of treatises on theology, philosophy and sciences.
In 1981, the entire complex was restored, and since 1985 it was used both as a library and as a multipurpose space for art exhibitions and cultural events.
From the ancient facade of the church, only the small rose window and the tympanum of the portal survived.
On the left, stands the small bell-gable, surmounted by a semi-pointed arch and completed by battlements, elegant decorated with lava inlays. On the right of the church, a portal constitutes the access passage to the former convent.
The interior of the church is characterized by a wooden trussed ceiling, four wall niches decorated with false arches and false Corinthian style columns.
HOW TO GET THERE
Because Corso Umberto is a pedestrian street, you can get to the Church of Sant’Agostino only on foot. The church is located about 450 meters away from Porta Messina, the main entrance to the town and also the limit of the pedestrian zone.
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