S.Euplio Church and Ipogeo- Roman funeral monument
In Via S. Euplio at the backside of the amphitheatre, the ruins of a little church dedicated to S. Euplio, totally destroyed by the air-bombing of July 8th 1943, can be seen.
From a guide book, published before the destruction, we know that the church had a limestone prospect exposed to West, with a door and some decorations: a mitre laid on a closed book and a stick tied to a bell (symbols of S. Antonio abate) and an open book the emblem of S. Euplio protomartyr of Catania.
There were two side altars (one figuring S. Antonio, the other the Sacred Family) and a central altar with columns.
The decorations of the church consisted in wall paintings figuring the histories of S. Euplio and S. Antonio in front of the Virgin with Angels, the four Evangelists, the Preaching of S. Euplio and his apotheosis.
Few years ago in memory of this no longer exisisting church were affixed to the wall some sculptures representing the apostles.
At the entrance of the fence enclosing the ruins of the ancient church of S. Euplio, a little staircase leading to a subterranean room can be seen. Once below, one entres in a small humid and ddark room. The walls show some frescoes. In front on the opposite end is a small altar, with nearly disappeared traces of wall paintings.
A big part of the room has been cut in the rock, some side niches can be seen too. According to some recent studies this room was used as a sepulchre.
The ancient necropolis of Catania
The ancient necropolis of Catania extended mainly in the Northern and Easthern area next to the amphitheatre, constituting the Northern boundary of the built up area.
Excavations under the buildings of the post office and the “Rinascente” have brought to light a wide necropolis of the Roman period.
Further East of Via Etnea in the first courtyard of the Barracks Lucchesi-Palli, near the market square (piazza della “Fiera ‘o Luni”), ruins of a Roman tomb have been discovered.
In another part of the town around the present S. Maria di Gesù square and the Viale Regina Margherita ancient burial places were found. In Via Gaetano Sanfilippo a Roman building absorbed in the courtyard of a modern building can be seen. It is erroneusly called “Ipogeo” (underground), because it is not underground but entirely visible. As a matter of fact it is a small Roman funeral monument consisting in one room only.
Within the Garibaldi Hospital there is a rectangular vault lined with 18 burial niches.
In the garden of a modern building along Viale Regina Margherita a circularb shaped sepulchral monument consisting in two floors has been discovered.
Further in the area during the fifties of this century the largest and most significant graveyard of the Christian period of Catania was discovered by the archaeologist Giovanni Rizza.
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