Monuments and buildings in Palermo
This place is the first idea in street-planning for a city in Europe!!. The place is the heart of Palermo and has a shape as a 8-sided polygon where Via Maqueda is crossing Coroso Vittorio Emmanuele in the middle of both streets - the two principal streets in Palermo. The project was built during the periode 1609 to 1620 by the florentinian architect Giulio Lasso and the master builder Mariano Smiriglio from Palermo with inspiration from Quatre Fontane in Rome. Palermo became in this way partet in 4 districts. The statues on the four buildings around the crossway present 4 Spanish kings, personelised seasons of the year in shapes of Roman gods and 4 femail saints of the city. In 1624 were added the femail patron saint Santa Rosalia.
The markets Ballarò and Vucciria
Ballarò is the oldest and biggest market in Palermo. The name is probably from the Arabic "bahlara" and used to be a market with only mercants of Arabic and Asian origin. Today the provisions are supportet from the farming land in the suburbs of Palermo but you find many other goods there. Vucciria: the name has probably origin in the French word for a butcher, "bucherie". In Sicilian dialect it vuccaria means disorder which is very a perfect description of a market place. Originally the mercants mainly came from Amalfi, Catalonia, Genova, Pisa and Venice. These people has arrived back in the 12th century for living in Palermo. The market carry a lot of various goods for eating as well as non-eatable but today not as big as Ballarò.
Built in Florence in 1554 by Francesco Camilliani on order from Don Luigi di Toledo. However, Don Luigi got into debt and helped by the brother, Don Garcia di Toledowho had a splendid relationship with the citizinry of Palermo the fountain was sold to the city in 1574. The fountain holds 48 statues and these arrived in the city in May 1574 in 644 parts. The fountain was rebuilt by Camillo Camilliani, the son of Francesco, helped by the scolpturer Michelangelo Naccherino also from Florence.
Palazzo dei Normanni - the palace of the kingsThe palace is built on the base of a residence for an emir built by the saracens in the 10th century. After the conquer of Palermo by the Normans in 1072 the building was taken by the Norman count Ruggero I (Robert I) and became since in 13th century rebuilt and extended by the king, Ruggero II where the dominating style became the Norman style. One can still in the room, "The Norman Hall" se woodwork and paintings from the time the palace was built. In the same period was also built "The Palatinian chapel" on the base of a church from 1080 which now is the crypt of the chapel. The new church was built in a harmonious style from the 3 cultures, Arabic, Norman and Byzantine. The outer walls and the doors are in the Norman style, indoor one finds beautiful Byzantine works of mosaic and the Arabic inspired arches. After the retreat of the Normans the palace was residence for the Spanish viceroys. Since 1946 the building has housed Sicilian parliament.
Chiesa (church) di S. Francesco d’Assisi
The church is located at Piazza S. Francesco. It was built in the period from 1255 to 1277 by king Frederico II and given to the Pope buying
himself, the king, from excommunication. Inside the church is beautiful with a woodden ceiling and big Byzantine arches towards the aisles. The outer main
entrance was donated by the families Ventimiglia (from in Castelbuono), Chiramonte og Abbatelli.
The building was originally an Arabic fortification dated back to 6th-7th century. Then is was living quarters for Palermitinians for around 400 years before it was rebuilt in 13th century to the present style by Lanza Filangieri from the noble Norman family of this name. This family was actually from the south of Italy but had relocated to the town Mirto by Messina and Lanza was born and bred in Mirto, which has given the name to the palace in Palermo. Today the building is redecorated as a distinguished Palermitinian home from the 9th century with lamps from Murano (an island by Venice famous for glass-works), painted wall panels from China, clocks, porcelain and tapestry.
Teatro Massimo V.E. (Vittorio Emanuele)
This theater is the 3rd biggest in Europe. It was built in the period from 1875 to 1891 by the architect Giovan Battista Filippo Basile from Palermo
who had won the rights for the work in 1864. The building was finished by the son, Ernesto Basile, after the death of the father. The outer style is
tipical Sicilian style - a distinguished blend of the classic Grecian-Roman style and the Baroc style. The indoor decoration was made by Giovanni Rutelli
from the famous Rutelli-family. the great-grandfather mario Rutelli was well-known alreday back in the 18th century for his genious building
constructions precisely in the Greek-Roman style.
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