San Giuseppe dei Teatini is considered one of the most outstanding examples of the Sicilian Baroque in Palermo.
The church was built at the beginning of the 17th century by Giacomo Besio, a Genoese member of the Theatines order. It has a majestic though simple façade. In the centre niche is housed a statue of San Gaetano, founder of the Theatines order. Another striking feature is the large dome with a blue and yellow majolica covering. The tambour decorated with double columns, and was designed by Giuseppe Mariani. The belfry tower was designed by Paolo Amato.
The interior has a Latin cross plan with a nave and two aisles, divided by marble columns of variable height. The inner decoration is an overwhelming parade of Baroque art, with stuccoes by Paolo Corso and Giuseppe Serpotta. Great frescoes can be seen in the nave, in the vault of the transept: these were painted by Filippo Tancredi, Guglielmo Borremans and Giuseppe Velasquez. The frescoes were severely damaged during World War II, but have been accurately restored. The most important piece of art is however a wood crucifix by Fra' Umile of Petralia.
The crypt houses remains of a former church, dedicated to Madonna of Providence.References:
Dating from the 15th century, Kisimul is the only significant surviving medieval castle in the Outer Hebrides. It was the residence of the chief of the Macneils of Barra, who claimed descent from the legendary Niall of the Nine Hostages. Tradition tells of the Macneils settling in Barra in the 11th century, but it was only in 1427 that Gilleonan Macneil comes on record as the first lord. He probably built the castle that dominates the rocky islet, and in its shadow a crew house for his personal galley and crew. The sea coursed through Macneil veins, and a descendant, Ruari ‘the Turbulent’, was arrested for piracy of an English ship during King James VI’s reign in the later 16th century.
Heavy debts eventually forced the Macneil chiefs to sell Barra in 1838. However, a descendant, Robert Lister Macneil, the 45th Chief, repurchased the estate in 1937, and set about restoring his ancestral seat. It passed into Historic Scotland’s care in 2000.
The castle dates essentially from the 15th century. It takes the form of a three-storey tower house. This formed the residence of the clan chief. An associated curtain wall fringed the small rock on which the castle stood, and enclosed a small courtyard in which there are ancillary buildings. These comprised a feasting hall, a chapel, a tanist’s house and a watchman’s house. Most were restored in the 20th century, the tanist’s house serving as the family home of the Macneils. A well near the postern gate is fed with fresh water from an underground seam. Outside the curtain wall, beside the original landing-place, are the foundations of the crew house, where the sailors manning their chief’s galley had their quarters.