Trip Planner:   Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Palermo  /  Palermo  /  Historic Sites  /  Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo

Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo, Palermo

(4.5/5 based on 220+ reviews on the web)
Santa Maria dello Spasimo, or Lo Spasimo, is an unfinished Catholic church in the Kalsa neighborhood in Palermo, Sicily, on Via dello Spasimo.Construction of the church and accompanying monastery of the Olivetan Order began in 1509 with a papal bull from Julius II, on land bequeathed by Giacomo Basilicò, a lawyer and the widower of a rich noblewoman. The Spasimo or Swoon of the Virgin was a controversial idea in late medieval and Renaissance Catholic devotion. The church commissioned the painting by Raphael, Christ Falling on the Way to Calvary, or Lo Spasimo di Sicilia, as it is also known. This was completed in Rome in about 1514-165, but in 1622 the Spanish Viceroy of Naples twisted arms and obtained its sale to Philip IV of Spain, and it is now in the Museo del Prado in Madrid.The church was never completed because of the rising Turkish threat in 1535, where resources meant for the church were diverted to fortifications of the city against any possible incursions. Even in its unfinished states, Lo Spasimo shows the late Gothic style architecture that permeated building practices in Palermo at the time as well as the Spanish influence in the city.The church now hosts open air musical, theatrical and cultural events because of its lack of a roof.SourcesPenny, Nicholas, National Gallery Catalogues (new series): The Sixteenth Century Italian Paintings, Volume I, 2004, National Gallery Publications Ltd, ISBN 1-85709-908-7 Bellafiore, Giuseppe. Palermo: guida della città e dei dintorni. Palermo, 1990. (reprinted several times) De Seta, Cesare. Palermo città d'arte: Guida illustrata ai monumenti di Palermo e Monreale. Kalós. Palermo, 2009. (pp. 222–223) La Fisca, Anna Maria and Giovanni Palazzo. Santa Maria dello Spasimo. Edizioni Guida. Palermo, 1997.
To visit Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo on your trip to Palermo, use our Palermo family vacation planner.
Source
Create a full Palermo itinerary
map

Plan your trip to Palermo

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Plans in Palermo by other users

7 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES April, popular PREFERENCES: April ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 20 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 18 days in Italy BY A USER FROM CANADA May, culture, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Palermo BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Palermo BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 1 day in Palermo BY A USER FROM CANADA July, culture, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: July, culture, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 4 days in Palermo BY A USER FROM CANADA July, hidden gems PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Palermo BY A USER FROM IRELAND May, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM PUERTO RICO May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 38 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy
View more plans
Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Mistakenly thought was a church, it's actually a museum space and how tale...il Monday is closed! Custodial staff gentilissimo (thanks Onofrio and colleague!), well maintained, comfortable and often hosts events of all kinds. I saw him naked, I was told the story and the various destinations throughout the centuries, a place full of charm hosted in the kalsa, already in itself a valid reason for the visit.
    View original
  • This roofless Church, used as a lazaret and warehouse, in which grows a big tree, impressing and fascinating. Think that a painting by Raphael had to complete it, flies the imagination and heart.
    View original
  • Wonderful place, sum of the history of a city full of humanity. Managed by the municipality, free entrance.
    View original
Google
  • A beautiful unfinished church... Impressive.
  • That's a Gothic church without roof transformed into an en plain air theater: that's create a very strange and pleasant atmosphere.
  • Unfinished church. Very intimate atmosphere.
  • The complex of "Yelp" is worth a visit. La Kalsa district, one of the most characteristic and is one of the most interesting buildings of the magnificent city of Palermo. The visit is free and the evening often (in summer) are organized concerts or films.
    View original
  • Beautiful. A Gothic rising "open sky". At night should be a spectacle: within these walls of the fifteenth century, and the naturalistic scene that embraces him.
    View original