Itinerary B

[5] Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio: one of the most beautiful constructions you will ever see

The traveller Ibn Gubayr admired the Church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio and described it as “one of the most beautiful constructions you will ever see”. Over the centuries, the church of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio has changed its appearance: numerous reconstructions have transformed the ancient Byzantine-style medieval building. Today, in fact, you can admire completely different styles and decorations: from the splendour of Byzantine mosaics, to 18th century frescoes, to Arab stylistic features. Despite the ostentatious Baroque façade on the north side of the church, the Syrian-style Byzantine Orthodox dome stands in the centre of the church, on a high octagonal drum, with cylindrical corner niches embellished with concentric rings.