Find information about Palermo churches including historical cathedrals. The churches in Palermo are a breathe taking view and is a great tourist attraction. A Palermo church offers interesting history and beautiful architecture.
Palermo’s Churches Are Uniquely Beautiful
Thanks to Palermo’s colorful past, churches in Palermo don’t fit into one set mode. Instead, they span the centuries, combining architectural styles in ways found nowhere else on earth. From converted mosques to the Baroque beauties, each one has something to offer visitors visually.
Palermo churches are also very welcoming to guests. Unless otherwise noted, a Palermo church is open to the public between 9 – 12:30 and 4 to 7 pm, and visitors are welcome to attend masses at the churches where services are still held.
Many are free or ask only a token donation for admission. At others, there are official tours with English guides, or, at the very least, English brochures. Flash photography may be restricted, both out of consideration for the fragile art and general politeness.
Naturally, no few words could ever do justice to the beauty and variety of the churches in Palermo. Let the churches listed here open your eyes to the possibilities, and help guide you as you plan your explorations to see these and the many others which grace the streets of the city.
- The Palatine Chapel is attached to the Palazzo Reale, and served as the royal cathedral for the Norman Kings of Sicily. It was constructed in the 1100’s, and is notable for its elaborate and shimmering mosaics.
- The Cathedral of Palermo is known for its many different styles, as it has been renovated, added to, or modified each century since it was built at the end of the 1100’s. Romanesque, Baroque, Gothic, and Modern combine and compete here.
- The Santa Maria dello Spasimo is known as the “Church that isn’t there” as it is now in ruins. Used for concerts, you can walk its grounds and try to feel the same inspiration as the artist Raphael, who painted works for the interior.
- The Santa Teresa alla Kalsa is considered the leading example of Sicilian Baroque style, and was converted from a former emir’s palace.
- San Cataldo is known for its unique pinkish domed top, which looks like a triplet of cupcakes have baked on the roof. It also has a splendidly secular courtyard full of pagan nymphs, mermaids, and satyrs.
- St. Francis Assisi is a Gothic and Romanesque blend with a richly decorated set of triple false arches and a side chapel dedicated to the Sicilian Grimaldi’s.
- Santa Maria della Catena used to help defend the city by running a chain across the harbor to block invaders. Built in the 1400’s, it is a Renaissance Gothic piece only open on Sundays.