The Church of the Holy Crucifix

The Church of the Holy Crucifix is one of the oldest and most majestic churches in Prizzi, located at the top of the town in a historic square, the Spiazzo Comizi. It was built around the 17th century over the pre-existing Church of San Biagio Vescovo.
The exterior façade has three doors. Above the central one is a circular clock with Roman numerals engraved with the date 1711, the year of the possible rebuilding. A 25-metre-high bell tower decorated with river pebbles rises above all. The main door is embellished with floral architectural elements, a marble snail-shell torch representing the light of life and rampant arches. There is also a royal coat of arms representing the Church and the power of God. Set into the façade is an architectural frieze from the Hellenistic period depicting a bull, possibly coming from the ancient Greek city of Hippana.
A legend tells of an ox, brought as a gift during a feast, knelt before the Crucifix, leaving its snout’s imprint on the forecourt’s pavement.
The church has a majestic pipe organ in good condition dating back to the end of the 18th century. The interior has a basilica layout with three naves supported by ten sturdy columns made of local limestone. Its walls and ceiling are covered with gilded stucco.
Above the high altar, the eye of God is painted in the form of a radiant sun, symbolising Divine Providence.
From the two terraces of the Church, which a narrow staircase can reach, one can enjoy an enchanting panorama, the fragrances and smells of the local cuisine, the magical sunset with its shades of pink and orange, and the blue sky. The south terrace allows you to admire the countryside, one of the world’s most beautiful and peaceful places. The hills, the mountains, the expanses of cultivated fields, the birds singing, the fresh, uncontaminated air, and the face caressed by the zephyr blows generate an atmosphere of rest, tranquillity, and escape, giving us the feeling of being in a ‘locus amoenus’ (pleasant place). One enjoys a stunning landscape that looks like a painting, a postcard to send to a dear friend.