Grammichele ( Catania ) is raised again by Carlo Maria Carafa the prince of Butera. He was a great scholar and patron, and a lover of science and arts. The foundation stone for the new town was laid by him a few weeks following the devastating 1693 earthquake which had destroyed Occhiola. You can still visit its ruins.
The city’s heart is its beautiful hexagonal square. It is studied by some of the world’s most prominent Schools of Architecture, and the best urban planners. In the center of the square is a monumental bronze statue by Murat Cura. This sculpture is an integral part of a large sundial that Professor Giovanni Brinch designed. It depicts Time as a figure kneeling in a series circles, much like an Armillary Sphere, which traps him in time.
The city plan, also known as “ad exagonum”, was created by the Prince and carved by Friar Michele da Ferrla on a slab made of slate. It is still preserved at the Town Hall. Carlo Maria Carafa laid the foundation stone for the new town to help the people affected by the earthquake. This was a huge ceremony attended by religious and nobles. It was April 18, 1693.
The large hexagonal square is overlooked both by the Town Hall, built by Carlo Sada and kept inside a valuable small museum of Archaeology.
In Grammichele’s beautiful hexagonal square, a bronze statue of Prince of Butera greets visitors. The base of the sculpture includes a series steps that symbolise the virtues of knowledge, including philosophy, religion science politics literature and art. This monument is a tribute Carafa’s love of knowledge. Paul Guarrera was the monument’s author. He represented the city founder as he walked down the stairs that lead to the heart. If you look closely, the left leg appears to be resting still on Occhiola. Then there is a void that symbolizes the earthquake and the past that cannot return. While the right leg is stretched out to the stairs leading into the new city, which represents the future, A bronze plaque at the foot of the stairs commemorates the edict that the Prince issued on the occasion the first stone was laid.