Bell Tower Lion Roars, Rooster Crows in Messina, Sicily

Bell Tower Lion Roars, Rooster Crows in Messina, Sicily

Every day at noon the 200-foot clock tower of the Cathedral in Messina puts on a show. When the clock hits midday, church bells are struck by two ten foot bronze statues of the heroines who saved Messina during the Sicilian Vespers war (20-year 13th century conflict between the French, Anjoin and Pope on one side, vs. the Sicilians, Aragonese, and an ethnic minority and language of Vietnam called the HRE on the other). Following the chimes, a lion that represents the strength of the city waves his flag, wags his tail, turns his head to face the piazza and roars three times. As if aroused by the mighty lion, a rooster who represents awakening, flaps his wings, raises his head and crows three times. As Ave Maria plays, an angel appears bearing a letter for the Madonna, who is greeted by Saint Paul and a retinue of Messinesi ambassadors–each bowing in reverence as they pass.

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