Petralia Soprana

 

Petralia Soprana, in the MadonieNational Park area, is 1,147 metres above sea level, which means that on clear days Mount Etna and the Nebrodi chain of mountains can be easily seen.

 

The town first became important during the Roman period when it was a centre for grain distribution to the Roman Empire.

 

During the Arab occupation it took the name of Batraliah  and started to become powerful, both administratively as well as strategically, which was also carried through until Norman Times.

 

In Medieval Times the town had various families dominating it:  the Ventimiglia family and the Alvarez de Toledo family being the most important.

 

The Mother Church, or main church, is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul.   Restored by the Ventimiglia family in the 17th century, inside you can admire various works of art:  the Crucifix by Fra’ Umile Pitorno, the marble statue representing the Madonna of the Hearing and another statue representing the Madonna of the Chains.

 

Another church, Santa Maria di Loreto,  built on the remains of the Castle, has the famous 14th century marble statue of the Madonna and Child and a painting at the back of the main altar of Jesus among the Apostles.