Sunday, 16 November 2014

PALERMO CATHEDRAL, SICILY

Palermo Cathedral is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Palermo, located in Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy. As an architectural complex, it is characterised by the presence of different styles, due to a long history of additions, alterations and restorations, the last of which occurred in the 18th century. It is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.

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.

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 post is part of the Spiritual Sundays meme,
and also part of the inSPIREd Sunday meme.








9 comments:

  1. Wow fantasti, lovely and impressive church. I can't believe my eyes wonderfully decorated. Hugs from Poland.Gosia

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  2. This Italian cathedral ... is beautiful ... I love Italian churches ...

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  3. What a great series from this cathredal! You've done a great job, Nick!
    Have a nice sunday ... Frauke

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  4. Gorgeous church - it is still a mosque? The photos look more like a cathedral.

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  5. WOW, this one takes my breath away. Tom The Backroads Traveller

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  6. Excellent photos -magnificent cathedral!

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  7. It's a fascinating cathedral..has middle eastern touches to its design...very different, but interesting considering its history.

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