Santa Maria dello Spasimo

Palermo, Italy

Santa Maria dello Spasimo is an unfinished Catholic church in the Kalsa neighborhood in Palermo.

Construction of the church and accompanying monastery of the Olivetan Order began in 1509 with a papal bull from Julius II, on land bequeathed by Giacomo Basilicò, a lawyer and the widower of a rich noblewoman. The Spasimo or Swoon of the Virgin was a controversial idea in late medieval and Renaissance Catholic devotion. The church commissioned the painting by Raphael, Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, or Lo Spasimo di Sicilia, as it is also known. This was completed in Rome in about 1514-165, but in 1622 the Spanish Viceroy of Naples twisted arms and obtained its sale to Philip IV of Spain, and it is now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.

The church was never completed because of the rising Turkish threat in 1535, where resources meant for the church were diverted to fortifications of the city against any possible incursions. Even in its unfinished states, Lo Spasimo shows the late Gothic style architecture that permeated building practices in Palermo at the time as well as the Spanish influence in the city.

The church now hosts open air musical, theatrical and cultural events because of its lack of a roof.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1509
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Giacomo Grisanzio (2 years ago)
One of the most peaceful and pleasant stops in Palermo. Take the time to enjoy this stunning place
Robert Herzog (2 years ago)
It's a great historical site to explore if you have 20-30 min. There are restrooms , toilet paper was empty. No entrance fee, not much visitors. If you look for some nice ruins to visit it's a place to go. Also nice to practice juggling
Robert Herzog (2 years ago)
It's a great historical site to explore if you have 20-30 min. There are restrooms , toilet paper was empty. No entrance fee, not much visitors. If you look for some nice ruins to visit it's a place to go. Also nice to practice juggling
Kuala Bound (2 years ago)
Founded in 1506, was abandoned in 1573, and had different uses in the times. It now host also jazz music festival.
Tangotails (3 years ago)
Looked like a nice place to see, but was closed when we got there at 15:00 / 3:00PM in Monday. So be sure to check the current seasonal schedule. Had to walk quite far to get there, and it is located in a nasty looking area. Dirty area. Would not want to be there after dark. Having said that, saw some nice murals on the walls by local artists, quite nice. The place also has hosted some famous musicians, and is also a music school.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Gruyères Castle

The Castle of Gruyères is one of the most famous in Switzerland. It was built between 1270 and 1282, following the typical square plan of the fortifications in Savoy. It was the property of the Counts of Gruyères until the bankruptcy of the Count Michel in 1554. His creditors the cantons of Fribourg and Bern shared his earldom. From 1555 to 1798 the castle became residence to the bailiffs and then to the prefects sent by Fribourg.

In 1849 the castle was sold to the Bovy and Balland families, who used the castle as their summer residency and restored it. The castle was then bought back by the canton of Fribourg in 1938, made into a museum and opened to the public. Since 1993, a foundation ensures the conservation as well as the highlighting of the building and the art collection.

The castle is the home of three capes of the Order of the Golden Fleece. They were part of the war booty captured by the Swiss Confederates (which included troops from Gruyères) at the Battle of Morat against Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy in 1476. As Charles the Bold was celebrating the anniversary of his father's death, one of the capes is a black velvet sacerdotal vestment with Philip the Good's emblem sewn into it.

A collection of landscapes by 19th century artists Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Barthélemy Menn and others are on display in the castle.