The province of Palermo

Petralia Soprana


Petralia Soprana

Petralia Soprana (Zip Code 90026) is 153 km. far from Agrigento, 74 km. from Caltanissetta, 143 km. from Catania, 55 km. from Enna, 219 km. from Messina, 115 km. from Palermo,which province it belongs to, 200 km. from Ragusa, 227 km. from Siracusa, 214 km. from Trapani.

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Petralia Soprana

The municipality has 3.818 inhabitants and its area is 5.686 hectares for a density of population of 67 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises on a mountainous internal area, and is 1.147 metres above sea-level.

The Town Hall is in puiazza del Popolo n. 1, tel. ++39 0921-641050 fax. ++39 0921-640491.

In agricultural field it is important the great production of cereals, olives, grapes and vegetables. From subsoil it extracts rock-salt and potassium salt. Carpets, embroidery, chochet works are typical products of local handicraft. Important are also wood and iron workings.

Maybe it has either Sicanian or Greek origin and at first it was associated to Petra, first inhabeted centre dated back to III B.C. century.

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Chiesa San Pietro Paolo

From the XII A.D. century the old name Petra was changed into Petralia, from Greek Petra Heliae that means Pietra di Elia (Elia's stone) in honour of the saint prophet Elia, founder of the Order of Barefooted Carmelites.

In the feudal period to Petralia's name was added the meaning Soprana to differenziate it from the below area just called Petralia Sottana.

The small town was dominated by different aristocratic families, first of all Ventimiglia family from 1258, followed by the Moncada and the Alvarez de Toledo until 1812, when the feudal regime was abolished.

Among its monuments there are the Palazzo Municipale (Town Palace), (ex convent of Borefooted Carmelities) neogothic made.

Important are also the Chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto (Church of St. Maria of Loreto) of 1700 and the Chiesa di S. Antonio Abate (Church of St. Antonio Abbot) with the adjacent Hospital both of the XVII century.

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Piazza San Michele

Of the original town-wall building it is possible to see only the pointed arch of Porta Seri and the ruins of the Norman castle.

Famous are the kneeling and weeping Crucifixes made by the Franciscan sculptor father Umile from Petralia, or Gianfrancesco Pintorno (1580-1639) who can be find in several churches of Sicily.

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