The province of Caltanissetta



A panoramic view of Butera
Photo © Estate in Sicilia

Butera (Zip Code 93011) is 98 Km. distant from Agrigento, 64 Km. from Caltanissetta, which is the province it belongs to, 136 Km. from Catania, 72 Km. from Enna, 232 Km. from Messina, 206 Km. from Palermo, 81 Km. from Ragusa, 162 Km. from Siracusa, 271 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © Estate in Sicilia 

The Church Mater

The municipality counts 5.822 inhabitants, its surface measures 29.704 hectares, and its population density counts 20 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises over a coastal hilly area, 402 meters above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is located in via Pr. Maria Josè n 5, tel. ++39 0934-346104 fax. ++39 0934-346327.

The agricultural center's economy is mostly based on the cultivation of wheat, vineyards, almond trees, carobs, olives, and citrus fruits. Cattle breeding and sheep farms are also very important.

There is no sure information regarding the origins of the town's name; perhaps it derives from the Arab term Butirah, that means shepherd, as other sources, instead, assume that it derives from the name Bute, the first Sicilian king, probable founder of the town.

The first installations go back to the pre-historical era; during the Hellenistic period, the town was directly related to Gela. With the arrival of the Arabs in 854, the town conquered a strategic role. It was completely razed to the ground in 1161 by Guglielmo il Malo, and was subsequently reconstructed by Guglielmo II il Buono.

The Santapau family, of Catalan origins, possessed the town during the XIV century, until half of the XVI century. In 1563, Ambrogio Santapau was appointed Prince of Butera by king Filippo II. Furthermore, the town passed under the dynasty of the Branciforte family, who dominated until the abolition of the feudal rights.

Photo © Estate in Sicilia 

The Sanctuary of San Rocco

Recently, there has been an important archeological discovery of a multi-layer necropolis, from the pre-historical age to the VII-VI century B.C..

The Piazza Duomo hosts the Chiesa Madre dedicated to San Tommaso, and its high altar preserves the Madonna degli Angeli by Filippo Paladino (1544-1614).

Of no lesser importance is the Chiesa di San Rocco, today's patron saint of Butera. The Porta Reale belongs to the years of Count Ruggero's reign.

The Norman Castle rises in Piazza Vittoria, and it beholds various sculptures such as a two-headed eagle with a chain and an unsheathed sword, emblem of the époque's lords.

In 1563, Ambrogio Santapau was the first Sicilian to be appointed Prince by King Filippo II of Spain.

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