the baroque decoration
the church of Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio

The senses tell baroque decoration

Baroque splendour

While the interior features lavish and ostentatious frescoes, typical of the Baroque era, set alongside the golden splendour of Byzantine mosaics, the exterior is characterised by a delightful mix of styles: representative elements typical of Norman and Islamic-derived architecture, such as the articulation of the elevations with recessed, ogival-arched niches, which give a vibrant rhythm to the masonry. There is also an original frieze, with an inscription in Greek, commemorating the founder, George of Antioch.

Lapis lazuli: the precious stones of antiquity

An altarpiece depicting the Ascension, painted by Vincenzo da Pavia in 1533, stands at the centre of the high altar, while a sumptuous tabernacle made of lapis lazuli sits beneath it. Known since ancient times, and coming from China and Afghanistan, lapis lazuli had a price similar to gold. Deep blue in colour, their use, like that of purple, was a characteristic and symbol of luxury.

Restoration time

There is excitement in the square: the restoration site, directed by the architect Giuseppe Patricolo, is in operation. The aim of the restoration workers, who are working tirelessly and with great enthusiasm, is to bring the old medieval elements back into view, also by removing some of the parts from the Baroque period. At this juncture, the foundations of the walls of the apse and the narthex have been found.

The senses tell the historical context

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

The mosaics of the naves

The decorations on the bell tower

The senses tell the architecture

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

The architectural space

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

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

The rediscovered palace

The birth of the Norman kingdom

The Admiral’s dedication

The senses tell baroque decoration

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

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

the Baroque exterior

The Royal Throne

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

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

The senses tell the historical context

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The interior of the church


The senses tell restorations

The senses tell the interior

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The senses tell the ceiling


The return of water

An architectural crescendo

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

A building constructed in a short space of time

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

The Palace of Kings

From earthquake to collapse

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

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

The Cassaro

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The senses tell the flooring

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

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

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

the Baroque interior