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Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo, Palermo

Categories: Sacred & Religious Sites, Tourist Spots
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 190+ 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.
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  • An open-air building of 1200 that if you visited at night looks like a truly magical place ... now is used for a variety of events and is home to the international school of Jazz. restoration parts are ongoing today no visitable. Entry is free
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  • This is one of the oldest churches in Palermo. The Church was built back in the 16 century and was not completed. Architecture, beauty, scale the Church strikes. Recommend to visit.
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  • Entering the church you have a gasp, a glance. Who comes to Palermo the Council visit, you will be charmed. Welcoming staff
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  • 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.
  • An open air theatre. A mix of architecture and nature! A must visit!
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  • I got to go inside in 2015 for work and I noticed that in some hidden spots of the church lie abandoned to themselves: Memorial plaques, wooden door and marble crests and architectural fragments salvaged from various buildings in the city went into disrepair. Now I wonder why the City Council does nothing to give a dignified accommodation to these artifacts, creating an ad hoc Museum? I would like some admin to answer!
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  • One of the sites to visit during a visit to Palermo. Once there you will find out why ...
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