"a Bataranni" (The Great Abbey)
The Convent of Santo Spirito (Monastero di Santo Spirito) in old town Agrigento
Outstanding example of Chiaramonte art, created by will of the noblewoman Marchisia Prefoglio, probably around 1299. Locals call it "Bataranni" (Great Abbey).
The entrance to the monastery leads into a large cloister in the shape of an inverted "L". Opposite the entrance, on the west façade, is the Chapterhouse: its magnificent doorway is elegantly flanked by two beautiful mullioned windows characterized by three kinds of little columns, joined together by a number of decorations. The ceiling of the Chapterhouse is superbly dominated by a series of ogival arches. On the north side is the Chapel of the Monastery, erected by Constance II Chiramonte around 1350.
To the far right is the entrance to the refectory (dining hall) with a rectangular plan. Its flat ceiling serves as floor for the dormitory. The doorway, located at the centre of the main façade and decorated with archivolts resting on little columns, is supported by five ogival arches. The building houses the Museo Civico.
Excerpt from the book "Agrigento, visita del Centro Storico" by Giuseppe Di Giovanni. Courtesy of the author. Translated by Michele Gallo