From 1412, Sicily was a vice-kingdom of the Spanish crown of Aragon. The following years were characterised by a major commitment to building in order to renew the cities, especially the port cities of Palermo, Messina and Syracuse, from an urban and architectural point of view. Restorations, decorations, new religious and civil buildings and stately homes were planned, spaces in front of churches were cleared and cities were adorned with marble doors. Outside the city walls, the sovereigns devoted themselves to founding convents and monasteries and building towers. Examples of architecture from this period in the Sicilian capital are Palazzo Ajutamicristo and Palazzo Abatellis, the latter now housing the Regional Gallery of Sicily, and both designed by Matteo Carnalivari da Noto.