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The town of Palermo

Tourism in Palermo

The Cathedral

Town of Palermo shows visitor a complex mixture of architectonic styles such as Greek-Roman, Norman, Arabic, Islamic, alternated with numerous baroque elements.

They are still visible picturesque and coloured quarters and characteristic streets in some parts paved, and on their sides there are now great buildings recently built, now palaces following the splendid liberty style, now majestic monuments which show artistical and cultural importance of which the town is rich.

Among religious buildings best historic and artistic importance is given to Cathedral, placed in corso Vittorio Emanuele, in the homonymous square.

Photo © Turi Calvino 

The Cathedral of Palermo

The Cathedral, built towards the end of the XII century for will of the archbishop Gualtiero Offamilio, shows a prevailing Sicilian-Norman style, animated by architectures which hide numerous changes. It was divided according to basilical Latin cross plan to which it was added, between 1781 and 1801, according to design made by Ferdinando Fuga (1699-1781), the aisles, the wings of transept and the majestic dome.

Its external front is closed between two high towers with double lancet window and small columns. The middle portal, datable to 1400, is enriched by a double lancet window and by Aragonese coats of arms and by the town Senate. The main front is jointed to the bell-tower, of medieval taste, by two pointed arches and shows a beautiful portal to enter into churh enriched with symbols of four Evangelists (a lion, an angel, a bull and an eagle). The southern front is in Gothic-Catalan style and shows three pointed arcades and a gable ornated with Gothic elements.

Photo © Turi Calvino 

Detail of The Cathedral of Palermo

INSIDE: work of indescribable artistical value and meticulous workings which reflect various styles of different ages, it contains numerous masterpieces of local and Sicilian skill. In it stands out the first chapel of the right part in which are kept sarcophagi of royals belonging to the Svevian dinasty (Federick II's, his wife Costance of Aragon's and Henry IV's) and the graves of Roger II and of his daughter Costance of Altavilla.

TREASURE: it is possible to enter from the right area of the transept and keeps a capitular stick with beautiful ivory engravings of Sicilian art of the XVII century; numerous jewels of queen Costance of Aragon as well as some rings and the precious imperial gold crown, monted with precious stones, pearls and diamonds.

CRYPT: keeps various graves of bishops among which it stands out a sarcophagus of Roman period with a rilief of figures of nine Greek muses and god Apollo.

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