testata sancataldo

The church of San Cataldo

The history

The church of San Cataldo was also constructed by an Admiral of the Kingdom, Maio of Bari, who made it the private chapel of his palace, built on the ruins of the ancient Punic-Roman walls. It was founded in the mid-twelfth century, although its current appearance is very different from its original one, as Maio’s palace incorporated the chapel, and has been reworked substantially over the centuries.

However Patricolo’s 1882 renovation work mercilessly demolished the palace, isolating the little church.
It has been open to the public for only a century, as it was previously reserved for the ceremonies of the Knights of Jerusalem. The heavily restored exterior is a rectangular structure of tufa blocks with three blind arches containing single-lancet windows on each façade. The central apse juts out slightly on the eastern side. The whole structure is topped by a finely carved cornice. A narrower rectangular drum runs along the entire length of the roof, with three windows on each of the long sides and one on the short sides. It is topped by three cupolas, which have become one of the symbols of Palermo. Originally faced with opus signinum, they are now painted red.

The archdiocese has entrusted the church to the Palermo section of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.

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