the Zisa
the Zisa over the centuries

From earthquake to collapse

The 1968 Belice earthquake further compromised the building’s already precarious state of preservation, worsening its distress until 13 October 1971, the day of the resounding collapse of half the building’s wing. The scandal was enormous and cultural mobilisation soon called for a serious recovery and restoration project to be launched. The project was entrusted to Professor Giuseppe Caronia, a lecturer at the Faculty of Architecture in Palermo, who was assisted by a group of specialists and experts. Thus began the process of this complex and articulated project regarding the building’s state of abandonment, worsened by the collapse that had caused it to lose significant parts of its structure and apparatus.

Gold and light: the splendour of the mosaics in the Royal Chapel

The senses tell the historical context

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

The mosaics of the naves

The senses tell baroque decoration

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

The Palace of Kings

The Admiral’s dedication

The interior of the church

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

The birth of the Norman kingdom


the Baroque exterior

From earthquake to collapse

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell restorations

The Cassaro

A building constructed in a short space of time

The rediscovered palace

The architectural envelope: the Greek cross layout oriented towards the light

Different styles and transformations of “one of the most beautiful monuments in the world”


The architectural space

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

The senses tell the flooring

An architectural crescendo

The beautiful Zisa and its garden: solacium regi among sounds, colours and scents

The Norman conquest of Sicily and the birth of a new Latin kingdom

the roof of Paradise: one of the most representative works of medieval art

The Royal Throne

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

the Baroque interior

The ancient convent of the Martorana, a history of devotion and tradition

The senses tell the architecture

The return of water

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

The loca solatiorum: dwellings for recreation, well-being and hunting

The senses tell the interior

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The senses tell the historical context

The decorations on the bell tower

The senses tell the ceiling

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout