the Zisa
the Zisa over the centuries

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

After having been a unitary residence, the Zisa Palace was used for fragmented housing throughout the period from the end of the 19th century to the early 1930s. Immediately after the end of the Second World War, due to its dilapidated condition, the building was abandoned and its slow decline began.Under pressure from public opinion and local culture, the building was acquired by the Region of Sicily in 1951, followed by some partial restoration work by theSoprintendenza ai Monumenti (Monuments Authority) between 1953 and 1957; this work involved restoring and rebuilding limited parts of the building, but without working on its load-bearing structures, which had already been damaged over time, thus contributing to its state of static decay.

The Cassaro

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries


The interior of the church

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

The senses tell the architecture

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

the Baroque interior

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

The senses tell the interior

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

The mosaics of the naves

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The senses tell baroque decoration


The senses tell the ceiling

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

The rediscovered palace

The return of water

The Royal Throne

From earthquake to collapse

The Admiral’s dedication

The decorations on the bell tower

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

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

A building constructed in a short space of time

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

The architectural space

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

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

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell restorations

The Palace of Kings

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The birth of the Norman kingdom

An architectural crescendo

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

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

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

the Baroque exterior

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell the flooring

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

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light