HOLY VIRGIN OF THE LETTER AND FORTRESS OF SAINT SALVATORE

Giacomo ChilléMessina, Storia e Cultura

HOLY VIRGIN OF THE LETTER AND FORTRESS OF SAINT SALVATORE

By the will of Charles V, in 1546, one of the first Christian convent of Basilian monks was suppressed and destroyed. It was dedicated to Saint Salvatore, and situated at the extremity of the sickle of Saint Raineri. On that place instead it was built the fortress thought in order to fortify the beginning of the port that, before, was defended by the no more efficient medieval Saint Anna Tower, unforgettable because of the defense of the city during the Vesper War against the French (1282).
Today on the old castle, totally offered to visitors, stands the votive column of the Blessing Virgin of the Letter, patron of the city of Messina. 60 meters high and completely tiled with Trapani stone, the column of the Holy Virgin was inaugurated on August 12th, 1934 at 8 p.m. with the solemn blessing of the Pope Pio XII who enlightened it, directly from the papal residence in Castel Gandolfo in Roma, through a shortwave device engineered by Guglielmo Marconi.
Inside of the fortified bastion (“cittadella”), actually navy militar headquarters, besides of the fortress and the votive column, it’s located another extraordinary architectonic work of art, the Lighthouse (“Lanterna”) by Montorsoli dating back 1555.

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