Palermo Cathedral interior

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The number in square brackets indicates the position on the map of the Cathedral.


Central nave

Lab97_cathedral35 the central nave has wide arches on the sides that rest on capitals supported by columns from the Norman structure and leaned on pillars on which the barrel vault rests. In 1952, some of the statues from the Gaginian Tribune demolished during the major restoration of 1781-1801 were placed close to the pillars. In the central nave, in the pillars at the entrance there are two holy water stoups on the left is the holy water stoup.[9] executed by G. Spatafora and A. Ferraro in 1535, the stoup on the right [16]  attributed to Domenico Gagini (XNUMXth century).


b97_cathedral37Presbyter [1]. Under the dome is the conciliar altar made by Vincenzo Gorgone. On both sides, the wooden stalls in the Catalan Gothic style (1466). The candelabrum and the episcopal throne on the left come from the Norman church. Above in the basin and in the vault of the choir two frescoes by Mariano Rossi painted between 1802 and 1803: "The expulsion of the Saracens by the Normans" and "The Assumption of the Virgin and the four cardinal virtues". The presbytery is closed by the apsidal basin in which the altar by F. Pinistri (1794) is placed and above it the statue of the Risen Christ. This statue was initially found in the Gaginian tribune demolished during the great restoration of 1781-1801, other statues of the ancient Tribune are placed in niches obtained in the walls of the presbytery.

Right aisle

c5_cathedral45Chapels of the Royal Tombs [13], [14]. The first chapel [13] contains the sarcophagus of Henry VI (1197), emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and father of Frederick II, behind that of his wife Constance of Altavilla (1198). The second chapel [14] contains the sarcophagus of Frederick II (1222) together with the body of Peter II of Aragon and that of a woman. Behind is the sarcophagus of Roger II (1154). Embedded in the left wall are the tombs of William of Aragon (1338)


 c2_cathedral42Chapel of Our Lady of the Letter [15]. It's la third chapel (immediately to the left of the entrance) on the altar is the Byzantine painting of the Virgin and Child by Antonio Filocamo.




 c99_cathedral59Chapel of St. Ignatius [17]. It is the fourth chapel (immediately to the right of the entrance). Above the altar the painting by Pietro Novelli of the “Apparition of the Virgin to Saints Ignatius of Loyola and Francesco Saverio (1633-1634).




 c991_cathedral60Chapel of Blessed Pietro Geremia [18]. It is the fifth chapel, above the altar the painting by Antonio Manno (1785) dedicated to Blessed Geremia.





 c91_cathedral50Chapel of the Sacred Relics [19]. And thea sixth chapel, contains the urns of the Palermo saints including: the urn of Santa Cristina, the first patron saint of Palermo, the seventeenth-century urn of Santa Ninfa, also patron saint of Palermo, the tombstone of San Cosma (XNUMXth century .) and the urn of San Mamiliano, first Bishop of Palermo



 d98_cathedral77Chapel of S. Francesco di Paola [20]. It is the seventh chapel. Above the baroque altar, the statue of S. Francesco by GB Ragusa. On the sides two statues to the left of the charity of Gioacchino Vitalian, to the right the statue of Penance by GB Ragusa.




 c7_cathedral47From the Chapel of S. Francesco begins the sundial [2] built in 1801 made in 1801 by the Theatine astronomer Piazzi. It is a brass plank that, embedded in a strip of marble, crosses the floor, along the entire path polychrome inlays depicting the zodiac signs. At solar noon, a ray of sunshine passes through a small hole in the dome in front of the chapel of San Francesco di Paola, and illuminates the zodiac sign of the month.



 c93_cathedral52Chapel of Maria SS. Assunta [21]. It is the eighth chapel. Above the altar, the canvas by Giuseppe Velasquez depicting the Assumption of the Madonna (1801). The marble bas-reliefs are instead by Antonello and Fazio Gagini (1535).




b991_cathedral40Chapel of S. Rosalia [22]. At the end of the right aisle, there is the Chapel of Santa Rosalia, closed by a brass gate. Behind the silver altar, protected by a copper gate dating back to 1655, is the silver urn of Santa Rosalia made to a design by Mariano Smiriglio (1631). On the side walls bas-reliefs by V. Villareale (1830).


  [wc_accordion_section title = "The treasure"]

f93_cathedral112Tesoro [24], [25]. In 2006 in the rooms known as "Sacristy of the Canons"[24] and"New Sacristy"[25] The Treasury is located, consisting of precious objects made between the thirteenth and twentieth centuries, an illuminated breviary of the fifteenth century, an ivory case from the thirteenth century., Monstrances, reliquaries, sacred vestments and various objects found in the royal sepulchers including the crown found together with the rings in the tomb of Queen Constance of Altavilla.



e5_cathedral85The first room of the treasure [24] is accessed through a marble portal by Domenico Gagini (1568). The left wall is that of the Norman church.e1_cathedral81





 e991_cathedral99At the end of the room another portal, also by Domenico Gagini (1568) leads to the second room [25] where at the end, in a niche, is kept the first work created by Antonello Gagini for the Cathedral: "The Madonna della Scala" (1503).




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[wc_accordion_section title = "Left nave"]

d4_cathedral64Baptistery Chapel [12] It contains the octagonal baptismal font made by Filippo and Gaetano Pennino (1801)





d95_cathedral74Chapel of S. Maria degli Angeli [11] The statues of the Virgin of the Assumption and the Sleeping Madonna come from the Gaginian Tribune; Above the altar three bas-reliefs by Fazio and Vincenzo Gagini with the washing of the feet, the prayer of Jesus in the garden and the last supper





d3_cathedral63Chapel of S. Antonino da Padova [10] On the altar a canvas representing Sant'Antonino da Padova and San Atanasio Chiaramonte, attributed to Vito D'Anna (1768).





d2_cathedral62Chapel of S. Cristina [8] The canvas above the altar, which depicts the glorification of the saint, was painted by the Palermo painter Giuseppe Velasquez





c4_cathedral44Chapel of the Immaculate Conception [7]  On the altar the simulacrum of the Immaculate Conception of the eighteenth century.






d1_cathedral61Chapel of S. Pietro and S. Agata [6] Above the altar a canvas depicting St. Peter and St. Agata made by Pietro Martorana (XNUMXth century)





c95_cathedral54Chapel of the Free Madonna of the Sick [5]. It contains a statue of the Virgin Mary by Francesco Laurana (1469). The name "Libera Inferni" was given to the Madonna in 1576, when Pope Gregory XIII granted this altar an indulgence for the souls in purgatory.

  The two marble pilasters on the sides of the altar come from the ancient Gaginian tribune.




c96_cathedral55Altar of the Crucifix [4]. The altar contains a fourteenth-century crucifix supported by an agate stone cross from the eighteenth century. At the foot of the crucifix, the sculptures of the Madonna and Magdalene by Gaspare Serpotta (700). In the altar there are nine high-reliefs, the work of Fazio and Vincenzo Gagini, illustrating scenes from the Passion of Christ



Chapel of the SS. Sacramento [3]. It contains a lapis lazuli altar made from a design by Cosimo Fonsaga (1653).

  In front of the chapel a silver lamp donated by King Charles of Bourbon.

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[wc_accordion_section title = "Crypt"]

e7_cathedral87Crypt [26]. From a Gothic-Catalan portal to the left of the Sacristy of the Canons you enter a room which is what remains of the ancient antitulus of the Norman church and from here you enter the Crypt, which according to some scholars dates back to the sixth century and which was subsequently modified following the construction of the Norman church. It is a rectangular room divided into two naves by columns obtained from previous constructions. The crypt contains 23 tombs, where mainly Palermo archbishops are buried, for the sarcophagi urns of the Roman, Hellenic and early Christian periods have been reused many of them have been modified and equipped with new covers, we indicate only a few:


Urn of Greek origin with a statue of di Giovanni Paternò by A. Gagini

Tomb no. 3: Greek marble urn Roman tomb with wild boar hunting scene of Archbishop Cesare Marullo (1588). The marble cover belongs to the archbishop's original tomb

Tomb no. 4: Roman tomb with inscriptions of Archbishop Francesco d'Antiocchia (1320);

Tomb no. 5: Marble tomb of the century. XVI century attributable to the Gagini of Archbishop Ottaviano Preconio (1568);

Tomb no. 6: Urn in limestone tuff from the Norman period. On the lid sit two small dragons with twisted snake tails

Tomb no. 7: Roman tomb depicting the coronation of a poet, among the figures a woman, the 9 muses and Apollo

Tomb no. 8: Calcareous tuff tomb of Bishop Nicodemus (1072);

e97_cathedral96Tomb no. 9:  Roman urn of the only lay person buried in the crypt, Frederick of Antioch (1305) brother of the archbishops Bartolomeo and Francesco, archbishops (present in other urns), the figure of Frederick rests on the tomb.



Tomb no. 10: Baroque urn adorned with foliage, with mask in the center of the lid

Tomb no. 11: Roman urn of Archbishop Bartolomeo d'Antiochia (1311)

e95_cathedral94Tomb no. 12: Urn, possibly Greek of Archbishop Giovanni Paternò (1511), the sarcophagus of Giovanni Paternò is the work of Antonello Gagini;

Tomb no. 13: Roman-early Christian urn of Archbishop Pietro Tagliavia d'Aragona (1558);

Tomb no. 15: Roman urn of Archbishop Ticio del Colle (1304)

Tomb no. 16: Norman urn of archbishop Gualtiero II, known as “Offamilio” (1190) founder of the same Cathedral;

Tomb no. 18: Tomb of the fifteenth century. of Archbishop Simone Beccadelli of Bologna (1465)



Altar with Roman frontispiece.


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