Messina: the 2 legends narrated in the beautiful cathedral square

cathedral square Messina


Visiting Messina, cathedral square is one of the must-see places, one of the most beautiful in the city on the Strait. But there is one less-know particular: cathedral square is a legendary place.

A place where two ancient, important and famous legends are represented. To discover them, you have to take a look to the bell tower of the cathedral and to the Fontana di Orione (“fountain of Orion”).

  • The legend of Orion. In Greek mythology, Orion was a giant, son of Poseidon and Euryale. Great huntsman, his faithful companion was Sirius the bloodhound. Orion was killed by the jealous Artemis, goddess of hunting. According to the legend, when he discovered the dead body, Zeus placed it among the stars as the constellation of Orion. The giant and its bloodhound are represented on the top of the Fontana di Orione.
  • Dina and Clarenza. August 1282. Dina and Clarenza were two women that defended their city, Messina, from the siege of the troops of Carlo I d’Angiò during the Sicilian Vesper. The French troops were in a overwhelming numeric superiority. But Messina’s citizens were armed with courage and determination. Angevins tried to make a sortie during night, entering in the city from the walls that were damaged. Diana and Clarenza noticed just in time that the enemy troops were trying to do an assault. So they started launch stones to the enemies and ring the bells to call the citizens, and Messina people repelled the enemies. Today, Dina and Clarenza are represented on the bell tower of the cathedral.


Image source: Di Abxbay – Opera propria, Pubblico dominio,

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