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St. Ephisius Church is situated in the medieval district of Stampace and its origins date back to 430 A.D. It was built above a cave where, according to the tradition, the Saint was detained before his martyrdom.
St. Ephisius Church lies above a limestone cave, about 9 metres deep, commonly known as the prison where he was jailed before his decapitation on Nora's beach, in the year 303 B.C.
The construction of an Oratory belonging to the Confraternity of St. Ephisius, designed by the piedmontese architect Antonio Felice De Vincenti, started 1726. Then, the building was modified and adapted to a more modern style, the Piedmontese Baroque; in 1870 the ancient church was demolished and the new one was accomplished in 1782.
The façade, marked by lesenes in Ionic order, is divided into three sectors by horizontal cornices.
The inside has a rectangular plan, covered by a barrel vault and characterized by parastades and entablatures of classic inspiration. Three chapels stand on each side, and the presbitery is surmounted by an octagonal dome.
The rich marble decoration gives the church the typical feature of the late XVIII century style. Especially the altars, like the main one by Giovanni Battista Franco, dating back to 1786, and the one in the St. Ephisius chapel, on the right side, dating to 1791. The latter houses the statue of the saint carried in procession on May 1st during the famous religious feast.
In 1798 another altar was erected and dedicated to Christ Cucified in the Confraternity's Oratory, annexed to the church about a century later.
The church houses paintings by Francesco Costa, Domenico Colombino and Sebastano Scaleta, in addition to many precious sculptures, including a neapolitan Ecce Homo from the XVII century.