As you wander around Messina, you'll come to the ruins of the church of Santa Maria Alemanna, built in 1220 by the crusading Teutonic Knights. The church -- or what's left of it -- stands at the corner of Via dei Mille, off Corso Garibaldi, directly north of Via del Vespiro and to the immediate west of Piazza Cavallotti. It's one of the few Gothic churches on the island, as the Gothic style of architecture never swept Sicily the way it did other parts of Europe. The Messinese seemed to dislike the style, and the unfinished church was left abandoned in the 15th century.

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