the Zisa

The senses tell restorations

A new garden

The present day Zisa garden, opened in 2005, with a surface area of 30,000m2, is a green expanse, rich in flowers and plants, which visually recreates the splendour of the ancient Genoard garden, considered to be the Paradise of the Earth. The colours are dominated by the white marble from the Alcamo and Castellammare del Golfo quarries, which was used to make the footpaths and the water channel.

Intoxicating fragrances

The Zisa garden is divided into twelve footpaths where those who take a walk or spend a pleasant afternoon relaxing are intoxicated with the scent of typical Mediterranean scrub plants. A journey for the senses, surrounded by greenery, to ideally connect with the glorious past of Norman Sicily.

The water gushes again

When visiting the Zisa, you can still hear the rustling of the slow flowing water which, after the latest restoration, has once again begun to gush inside the building. A channel, on an axis with the palace, connects the fountain room to a system of water basins which recall the splendour of the ancient Zisa, which comes from the Arabic word for splendid!

The birth of the Norman kingdom

The Royal Throne

The rediscovered palace

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

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

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

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

The Admiral’s dedication

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The senses tell the flooring

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

The Palace of Kings

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

the Baroque exterior

The interior of the church

The architectural space

the Baroque interior

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

A building constructed in a short space of time

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The senses tell restorations

From earthquake to collapse


The senses tell the interior

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

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

An architectural crescendo


The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

The senses tell the architecture

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

The Cassaro

The senses tell the historical context

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

The senses tell the ceiling

The mosaics of the naves

The senses tell the historical context

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The return of water

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

The senses tell baroque decoration

The senses tell the historical context

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

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The decorations on the bell tower

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