The Church of Saints Peter and Paul of Agrò, in the municipality of Casalvecchio Siculo, Messina, owes much of its beauty to Roger II of Hauteville, who was King of Sicily, Calabria and Apulia from 1134 to 1154.
Between 1135 and 1153, the Norman sovereign conquered large areas on the North African coast, establishing his dominion in parts of today’s Libya and Algeria. He set up a solid Mediterranean monarchy on the bases of a common culture in which Muslims and Christians could live together in peace.
The splendid Church of Saints Peter and Paul of Agrò is a legacy of Roger’s open mind and modern approach because, after being originally built in 1117, it was radically renovated in 1172 with a wonderful mix of Byzantine, Arab, and Norman styles.
Unscathed by the passage of time, today it rises as a symbol of harmony and peace among different cultures, races, languages and religions.