In 1185 the church was built on top of a Byzantine church, later it was renamed a mosque, to which all kinds of extras were added after the umpteenth conquest of the city. Later, typical additions from the Renaissance and the Neoclassical art period were also added to this magnificent cathedral.
Visiting the cathedral of Palermo
The exterior is phenomenally beautiful, and you can undoubtedly stare at it for hours. Pay attention not only to the church itself, but also to the pretty garden and the gorgeous statues that decorate the domain.
The church is free to enter, but if you also want to see the treasury, the crypt and the beautiful view from the roof terrace you have to pay extra.
A ticket for the roof terrace costs €5, a combi ticket for all three sights inside this cathedral costs €7 per person.
Inside the cathedral you’ll find much more than a few chairs and a beautifully decorated altar.
Behind the church walls you can find, among other things, the chapels where important emperors and kings are buried. For the rest you’ll find many sculptures and other art objects of great value, made by famous artists.
The bottom floor of the church is supported by granite columns, and has some sarcophagi standing. In these richly decorated stone coffins are the bodies of Roman, Byzantine and Norwegian clergy who were once very important to the church.
In the treasury you’ll find a small collection of objects, jewelery and paintings that have been given to the church, found in the cathedral or belonged to the clergy.
The roof terrace
The reason for many tourists to visit the cathedral of Palermo is the exceptionally beautiful view that you get from the roof.
After you’ve climbed the revolving stairs -which will undoubtedly make you dizzy- you’ll be rewarded with a panoramic view of Palermo.
Some interesting facts
- The full name for the ‘Cathedral of Palermo’ is the ‘Cattedrale della Santa Vergine Maria Assunta’. In English you can translate that as the ‘Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary’.
- After a violent earthquake, the church was completely demolished and rebuilt. The former mosque and the outbuildings disappeared completely, but in the new building a combination style was chosen in which the Arabic building characteristics were also reflected. The so-called ‘Arab-Norman architecture’.
Tours and excursions in Palermo
The Cathedral of Palermo is of course not the only tourist attraction of this beautiful city. There is a lot to do and discover! Plan your visit to Palermo in advance, and see what else is offered of tours and excursions.
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.