Monumenti di Palermo (Presentazione di Salvatore Fichera)
La cattedrale di Palermo The entrance to the Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Assumption is located in Piazza Duomo. In the area of the present Cathedral of Palermo, there was a 4th century church but it was destroyed by vandals and no traces remain. In 604, a basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Assumption was build and was, transformed into a mosque after the conquest of Palermo by the Saracens in 831. The basilica returned to Christian worship in 1072 with the conquest of Palermo by the Normans. The current cathedral was erected in 1185 by Archbishop Walter of the Mill on the area of the first basilica. The various phases of construction were continued for several centuries, and so the Cathedral was built in various styles.
Palazzo dei Normanni It was an ancient fortress from Punic, Roman and Byzantine times, but the Byzantine preferred to build a new fortified town, near the Port. The old building was renovated and extended by a Sicilian-Norman King, who added new towers and a splendid Palatine Chapel. Despite the heavy transformations during the Renaissance and the Baroque, it is still a precious, Norman era building, above all, the Palatine Chapel. The palace inside is divided vertically in two four-sided parts. Some rooms still have traces of very fine mosaics, reflecting and rich decorations. .
La Cappella Palatina The Palatine Chapel in the Norman Palace, has the same architectural elements as the palace. The ceiling is decorated with mosaics and paintings in which the human figure merges with that of several symbolic animals and abstract motifs. We also find a representation of two Christs, one in the dome blesses in the Greek manner, the Christ Pantocrator blesses according to the Latin rite. Over the area of the throne, appears the figure of Christ. The symbolism was immediate: tha normann king Roger II was the interpreter of God and the consecrated priest around whom everything had to rotate.
La Zisa "EL AZIZ", in Arabic, means noble, beautiful, and certainly the impressive building of the Zisa must have seemed so. La Zisa was begun by William I, son of Roger II, the founder of the Norman dynasty in Sicily, and completed by William II. William wanted to build a building that was both a delight and the expression of the power of the King The building was inhabited continuously until the postwar period,but iit has been changed and damage. In 1951, restoration was begun.
San Giovanni degli Eremiti One of the most picturesque and characteristic buildings of Norman Palermo,it was built by Roger II in 1132. Before entering directly into the church you must follow the small but well-kept garden, which contributes to create a "magic" atmosphere . It is simple with a square bell tower, mullioned windows and five red domes that rise above the 'simple and compact architecture of the walls. Everything faces east. Leaving the church, one enters the beautiful 13 th cloister.
San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi The church of St. John of the Lepers is a Norman church in Palermo. According a legend, it was built in 1071 while the Normans was besieging the city. It was immediately dedicated to St. John. The church had an eventful life: it first housed a military hospital, then a Leper colony. In the Baroque period it was covered with stucco, and so lost its original appearance. The exterior is simple and devoid of decorations, except for the windows, which seem carved. The entrance is preceded by a small portico, which consists of a single column, on which the bell tower stands. The interior has a basilica form , it looks stark but has well-lit side windows. We can admire a wooden crucifix painting, dating back to 15 th century it is the oldest Norman building in Palermo.