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Encyclopedia > Cathedral of Palermo
The dome and part of the apse of the Cathedral of Palermo.

The Cathedral of Palermo is an architectural complex in Palermo (Sicily, Italy). It is characterized by the presence of different styles, due to a long history of additions, alterations and restorations, the last of which occured in the 18th century. Nickname: Palermu Motto: Official website: http://www. ... Sicilian redirects here. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ...



The main façade, connected with arcades to the Archbishops' Palace.
The main façade, connected with arcades to the Archbishops' Palace.

The church was erected in 1185 by Walter Ophamil (or Walter of the Mill), the Anglo-norman archbishop of Palermo and King William II's minister, on the area of an earlier Byzantine basilica. By all accounts this earlier church was founded by St. Gregory and was later turned into a mosque by the Saracens after their conquest of the city in the 9th century. Ophamil is buried in a sarcophagus in the church's crypt. The medieval edifice had a basilica plan with three apses, of which only some minor architectural elements survive today. Events April 25 - Genpei War - Naval battle of Dan-no-ura leads to Minamoto victory in Japan Templars settle in London and begin the building of New Temple Church End of the Heian Period and beginning of the Kamakura period in Japan. ... William II (1153 - 1189), king of Sicily, was only thirteen years old at the death of his father William I when he was placed under the regency of his mother, Marguerite of Navarre. ... Pope Saint Gregory I or Gregory the Great (ca. ... For the rugby club Saracens see Saracens (rugby club) The term Saracen comes from Greek sarakenoi. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was that century that lasted from 801 to 900. ...

The upper orders of the corner towers were built between the 14th and the 15th centuries, while in the early Renaissance period the southern porch was added. The present neoclassical appearance dates from the work carried out over the two decades 1781 to 1801, and supervised by Ferdinando Fuga. During this period the great retable by Gagini, decorated with statues, friezes and reliefs, was destroyed and the sculptures moved to different parts of the basilica. Also by Fuga are the great dome emerging from the main body of the building, and the smaller domes covering the aisles' ceilings. This 14th-century statue from south India depicts the gods Shiva (on the left) and Uma (on the right). ... (14th century - 15th century - 16th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 15th century was that century which lasted from 1401 to 1500. ... In the traditional view, the Renaissance is understood as an historical age that was preceded by the Middle Ages and followed by the Reformation. ... 1781 was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... The Union Jack, flag of the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. ... Ferdinando Fugas façade of Santa Maria Maggiore, completed 1743, depicted by Giovanni Paolo Pannini Ferdinando Fuga (Florence 1699– Rome 1781) was a Florentine architect, whose main works were realized in Rome and Naples. ... Antonello Gagini (1478-1536); was a Sicilian sculptor. ...


The main façade is on the Western side, on the current Via Bonello, and has the appearance set in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is flanked by two towers and has a Gothic portal surmounted by a niche with a precious 15th century Madonna. Two lintelled ogival arcades, stepping over the street, connect the façade to the bell tower in the front, annexed to the Archbishops Palace. This has a squared appearance adorned in the upper part by a fine crown of smaller belfries and small arcades. Besides its original meaning, of or relating to the Goths (Gothos, Getas), a Germanic tribe and thus the Gothic language and the Gothic alphabet, the word Gothic has been used to refer to distinctly different things: From a Renaissance perspective (originally Italian, gotico, with connotations of rough, barbarous), it conveyed... Madonna may be: People The Madonna, Mary, the mother of Jesus Madonna (entertainer) Madonna Wayne Gacy Diego Maradona Places House of the Black Madonna Madonna del Ghisallo, hill Madonna Inn, motel Madonna of the Trail, series of historical monuments Madonna Oriente Other Lady Madonna, song Madonna lily Black Madonna Madonna...

The right side has outstretching turrets and a wide portico (the current entrance) in Gothic-Catalan style, with three arcades, erected around 1465 and openening to the square. The first column on the left belonged to the original basilica and the subsequent mosque, as testified by the Qu'ran verse carved on it. The carved portal of this entrance was executed in the period 1426 to 1430 by Antonio Gambara, while the magnificent wooden leafs are by Francesco Miranda (1432). The mosaic portraying the Madonna is from the 13th century, while the two monuments on the walls, works of the early 18th century, represents King Charles III of Bourbon and Victor Amadeus II of Sardinia. Events July 13 - Battle of Montlhéry Troops of King Louis XI of France fight inconclusively against an army of the great nobles organized as the League of the Public Weal. ... The Quran ( Arabic al-qurʾān أَلْقُرآن; its literal meaning is the recitation and is often called Al Quran Al Karim: The Noble Quran, also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and less commonly Alcoran) is the holy book of Islam. ... Events March 6 - Battle of St. ... // Events May 23 - Joan of Arc is captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne The Ottoman Empire captures Thessalonica from the Venetians First use of optical methods in the creation of Art A map of Europe in 1430. ... Events June 1 - Battle of San Romano - Florence defeats Siena foundation of Université de Caen In the end of the Hook and Cod wars, Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut and Holland is forced by Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, to abdicate all her estates in his favour; end of Hainaut... (12th century - 13th century - 14th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 13th century was that century which lasted from 1201 to 1300. ... (17th century - 18th century - 19th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 18th century refers to the century that lasted from 1701 through 1800. ... Charles III of Spain - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia /**/ @import /skins-1. ... Victor Amadeus II (b. ...

The area of the apse, enclosed by the turrets and grandly decorated on the external walls, is part of the original 12th century building, while the more modern part of the church is the left side, which has an early 16th century portal by Antonello Gagini. The South-Western façade, looking at the Archbishop Palace, dates from the 14th to 15th centuries. (11th century - 12th century - 13th century - other centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 12th century was that century which lasted from 1101 to 1200. ... (15th century - 16th century - 17th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 16th century was that century which lasted from 1501 to 1600. ... Antonello Gagini (1478-1536); was a Sicilian sculptor. ...

The sarcophagus of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.
The sarcophagus of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.

The interior has a Latin cross plan, with a nave and two aisles divided by pilasters. In the first two chapels of the right aisle are the tomb of emperors and royal figures moved here in the 18th century from their original sites (mostly from the basilica itself). Here are the remains of Emperor Henry VI, his son Frederick II of Sicily, as well as those of Peter II of Sicily. A Roman sarcophagus is the tomb of Constance of Aragon, Frederick's wife. Under the mosaic baldachins are the tombs of Roger II, the first King of Sicily, and his daughter Constance. The last two were once located in the transept of the Cathedral of Cefalù. Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (November 1165, Nijmegen – September 28, 1197, Messina) was king of Germany 1190-1197, and Holy Roman Emperor 1191-1197. ... Frederick II (left) meets al-Kamil (right). ... Peter II (July 1305-15 August 1342, Calascibetta) was crowned king of Sicily (then called Trinacria) in 1321 and gained full sovereignty when his father died in 1337. ... The Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller at Rhodes under a canopy of estate, on a dais: there is a cushion under his feet A baldachin, baldachino or baldacchino is a canopy of state over an altar or throne, It had its beginnings as a cloth canopy, but in other... Roger II, from Liber ad honorem Augusti of Petrus de Ebulo, 1196. ... Constance of Sicily ( 1154 - November 27, 1198) was in her own right Queen of Sicily, became German Empress as the wife of the Holy Roman Emperor Henry VI, and was the mother of the Emperor and King of Sicily Frederick II. She was the posthumous daughter of Roger II of...

The Baroque small side cupolas by Ferdinando Fuga.
The Baroque small side cupolas by Ferdinando Fuga.
The famous portico by Domenico and Antonello Gagini.
The famous portico by Domenico and Antonello Gagini.

The Sacrament chapel, at the end of the left aisles, is decorated with precious stones and lapislazuli. To the right, in the presbitery, is the chapel of Saint Rosalia, patron of Palermo, closed by a richly ornamental bronze gate, with relics and a 17th century silver urn which is object of particular devotion. (16th century - 17th century - 18th century - more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 17th century was that century which lasted from 1601-1700. ...

The 1466 Gothic-Catalan style wooden choir and the marble remains of the Gagini's retable (removed during the 18th century alterations) are also precious, as well as a marble statue of the Madonna with Child by Francesco Laurana and pupils (1469[1]), a 13th century polychrome Crucifix by Manfredi Chiaramonte, the holy water stoup on the fourth pilaster (by Domenico Gagini) and the Madonna della Scala by Antonello Gagini, on the high altar of the new sacristy. The Relics Chapel contains the relics of St. Christina, St. Ninfa, St. Cosma, St. Agatha and St. Mamilianus, first patron of Palermo. Events Chimú Empire conquered by troops of the Inca End of term for Regent of Sweden Jöns Bengtsson Oxenstierna. ... Domenico Gagini (1449-1492) was an Italian sculptor. ... Francesco Laurana [de la Vrana], (born in Vrana, near Zara [now Zadar, Croatia]; died Marseille, before 12 March 1502), was an Italian sculptor and medallist. ... Events July 26 - Battle of Edgecote Moor October 17 - Prince Ferdinand of Aragon wed princess Isabella of Castile. ...

The crpyt, accessed from the left side, is an evocative room with cross vault supported by granite columns, housing tombs and sarcophagi of Roman, Byzantine and Norman ages. People buried here include archbishops Walter Ophamil, the church's founder, and Giovanni Paternò, patron of Antonello Gagini who sculpted the image on his tomb.

The Cathedral Treasury contains goblets, vestments, monstrances, a 14th century breviary and the famous Crown of Constance of Sicily, a golden tiara found in her tomb in 1491. // Events December 6 - King Charles VIII marries Anne de Bretagne, thus incorporating Brittany into the kingdom of France. ...


  1. ^ The sculpture is commonly known as Madonna Libera Inferni ("free from Hell"). It received this name in 1576, when Pope Gregory XIII gave indulgence for the Purgatory's souls to the altar in which it is placed. The sculpture was intended for the church of Monte San Giuliano in Trapani, but remained here as the Palermitani refused to deprive themselves of such a beautiful art work.

Gregory XIII, born Ugo Boncompagni (January 7, 1502 – April 10, 1585) was pope from 1572 to 1585. ... Torre della Colombaia Trapani (2004 population 67,456) is a city in the west coast of Sicily in Italy. ...


  • Patrizia Fabbri, Palermo e Monreale, Bonechi, 2005.
  • Sicily and its Islands, Ugo la Rosa Publisher, 1993.
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Cattedrale di Palermo

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External links

  • Official website

  Results from FactBites:
Palermo (171 words)
Most of the electrical power in Palermo was out and many of its beautiful palm trees were uprooted due to a tornado that had come off the sea....The next day Palermo sparkled in the sunshine.
The cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, is located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, a short distance from the "Quattro Canti" - the historic center of vibrant Palermo.
The remains of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo, are kept in the chapel dedicated to her.
Palermo Cathedral, Italy - Picture - MSN Encarta (62 words)
Palermo Cathedral, Italy - Picture - MSN Encarta
Built from 1169 to 1185 during Norman rule in Sicily and later renovated several times, the cathedral in Palermo is a wonderful example of the different architectural styles present in the town.
Inside, among the numerous works of art and other treasures that have been conserved, lie the tombs of the sovereigns of Sicily.
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