The Cuba Palace in Palermo was built in 1180 by William II of Sicily in his great Royal Park, as his personal recreation pavilion, together with an artificial lake: it shows strong Fatimid art influences, as it was (at least partially) designed and decorated by Arab artists still living in Palermo after the Norman conquest in 1072. During the rule of Bourbon kings of Naples it was annexed to a barracks. In the 16th century it was turned into a lepers' colony.

The edifice has a rectangular plan, with massive forms. The four façades are marked by blind arcades, small windows, and niches. The name Cuba derives in fact from its approximately cubical form. The famous Italian Middle Ages author Boccaccio was impressed by the Cuba and set here one of the novellas included in the Decameron.

The Cubola or Little Cuba is another edifice built by William II for his park, in smaller dimensions. The most striking feature of the Cubola is the little hemi-spherical cupola.

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Founded: 1180
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Terry D. Jones (11 months ago)
Signage is not very helpful. There is little of the original buildings remaining.
Jędrzej Olejniczak (13 months ago)
These are just abandoned ruins nobody is taking care of. Not really worth visiting or shelling out a few euros.
Alexey Nikolaevich (15 months ago)
The Cuba palace was built in 1180 by William II of Sicily in his great Royal Park, as his personal recreation pavilion, together with an artificial lake: it shows strong Fatimid art influences, as it was designed and decorated by Arab artists still living in Palermo after the Norman conquest in 1072. During the rule of Bourbon kings of Naples it was annexed to a barracks. In the 16th century it was turned into a lepers' colony. The edifice now has no cupola, no roof, no lake. Barracks are empty and shabby. The entrance fee is 2 Euro. It is better to lend the barracks to bars/restaurants and no entrance fee.
Kevin Keppel (15 months ago)
Not much to see. Not mutch to do. 2 euro entrance per person.
Ondřej Böhm (18 months ago)
Important to visit because of history. But not so beautiful as other places in Palermo and it's surrounding.
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