San Giorgio’s portal is the symbol of the city of Ragusa. It is a Catalan Gothic style construction built in the second half of the fourteenth century and used as the right side entrance door of the homonymous church. The building, which was was probably built in 1349 on request of Chiaramonte family, collapsed after the 1693 earthquake and what remains today is just this portal.
The portal is made of soft local limestone blocks, coloured with light pink shades.
It is a Catalan Gothic portal, placed between two nineteenth-century private homes. It overlooks a small unprotected garden separated from the street by fences.
It is decorated with a bundle of six columns put on a raised base, each one with multiple leafy capitals, where a set of pointed arches-shaped rings in a free formation go down toward the stairs. By watching the arches we can see fretwork decorations representing leaves and animals, while at the base of the ring there are images of ancient traditional jobs of the Iblei Mountains, including the mielaro (honey seller).
Inside the lunette there is San Giorgio on horseback slaying the dragon, freeing the princess of Berito, while at the sides of the pointed arches, inside two lozenges, we can see some Aragon eagles which indicate the devotion of Chiaramonte family to the saint and the period when it was built.
In the splay there is a bundle of refined columns which, together, form an harmonious arch; the last column of the all nine bundles does not follow the arch design but it narrows, going above the eight others to form a large flower.
Affixed to the portal, we notice a marble plate bearing the following inscription: “Here, where once stood the largest temple that the earthquake of 1693 partially destroyed and the heroic faith of the fathers restored the distinguished church of San Giorgio had its first seat XXVI August MDCCXXVI Citizens, this gate that allows passers-by to appreciate the remaining part of the magnificent fifteenth-century work, put (this plate) in memory XXII April MCMXXVI “.
Progetto finanziato con risorse di cui al Progetto d'Eccellenza "Culto e cultura - Itinerari di turismo religioso" di cui alla L- 296/2006 art. 1 c. 1228.
TOURIST PACKAGE CONTRACT (Aut. Regione Sicilia N.3743/S. 7 Tur del 22.02.2017)