The Revolution in Sicily - the Cathedral and Square of the Elephant, Catania, 1860. 'Catania, with its straight streets and white houses, has the appearance of a handsome modern town, notwithstanding its twenty-five centuries of existence. Among the most noteworthy of its buildings is the cathedral, a vast building, dedicated to Santa Agata. The front is ornamented with fine granite columns, taken from the theatre of the ancient city, and the sacristy is covered with frescoes representing the ravages of the eruption in 1669. In the square before it is a fountain [designed by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini], with an elephant made of lava, bearing on its back a small granite obelisk, terminated by a cross. The elephant was the ancient symbol of the Catanians, a fact which may account for the great dimensions of the statue and the excellence of the workmanship; but the hieroglyphics which are carved on the pedestal are illegible, and the story of its origin is lost. This extraordinary, rather than beautiful, fountain adornment stands in the centre of the square of the Elephant, formed by the townhall, seminary, and cathedral - an area superior in grandeur and extent to every other in Catania'. From "Illustrated London News", 1860.
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