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.

The birth of the Norman kingdom

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal 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 decorations on the bell tower

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

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

the Baroque interior

The Royal Throne

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

The senses tell the interior

The Admiral’s dedication

An architectural crescendo

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The mosaics of the naves

The interior of the church

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

the Baroque exterior

The senses tell the architecture

The Cassaro

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

The Palace of Kings

The senses tell restorations

The senses tell the flooring

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


The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries


The senses tell the historical context

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

The architectural space

The senses tell the ceiling

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

The rediscovered palace

From earthquake to collapse

The senses tell baroque decoration

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

The return of water

A building constructed in a short space of time

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

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

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell the historical context

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light