Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo, Palermo

4.6
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.
Put Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo into our Palermo trip planner and find out what's close by, where to stay, and where to head next.
Source
Create an itinerary including Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo
map
Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
256 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • August 17, 2017
    in the heart of Palermo, this former church--a place full of mystery ... revenue, lift up your eyes and you feel like touching the sky
    View original
  • August 16, 2017
    Very impressive and romantic space suitable for any audience, free of charge. In my case I was motivated to visit after reading the novel by Alessandro d'avenia "what hell is not" and I wasn't at all disappointed. To visit if you are tourists hit and run.
    View original
  • July 23, 2017
    It is a church without covering (a similar case in sant'antimo) from the story very economic meltdown and articulate. It is also in the neighborhood of Kalsa near via Glassware (see my review) and this is further reason for interest (admission is free).
    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.
  • Unfinished Catholic Church
  • wow

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.

Where to stay in Palermo

Situated near all of the city's main attractions, Palermo's centrally located luxury hotels are an ideal retreat from Sicilian heat and noise. They offer spacious rooms with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea, as well as access to rooftop terraces and outstanding downstairs eateries. A wide range of B&Bs just outside the busy heart of town offer a more affordable option complete with amenities such as private parking. Located in quiet residential neighborhoods, these B&Bs are only minutes from popular shops, restaurants, and nightclubs.
Live like a local, find unique places to stay
Millions of travel reviews on TripAdvisor

Plans in Palermo by other users

55 days in Italy BY A USER FROM ITALY October, slow & easy, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 9 days in Italy BY A USER FROM INDIA October, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS December, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 7 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 7 days in Sicily SEE PLAN December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 60 days in Asia & Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 9 days in Italy BY A USER FROM CANADA June, culture, historic sites, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Sicily BY A USER FROM TURKEY October, popular PREFERENCES: October ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 26 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 24 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 31 days in Europe BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
View more plans