Palermo – Day 1 – Part 3 – A Church, A Theater, and An Old Bank

The Chiesa di Sant’Antonio Abate can be found at Via Roma, #203A.  The church dates from 1220.  The campanile, next to it, was built in 1302, and houses a famous bell known as the “Pretoria,” as it was used by the senate of the city to summon its citizens, when important events were taking place.

At the foot of the staircase, leading up to the church, there is a much venerated aedicole, known as the “Ecce Homo”.  The Christ figure inside is made of papier-mâché.

The two statues, on the sides of the entrance to the church, are of Saints Peter and Paul.

The church suffered severe damage, during the earthquake of 1823.  It was restored years later, but was damaged again by bombings in 1860 and 1943.  It was finally restored to its former glory in 2001, after being closed for years.

The Altar of the Santissimo Sacramento is the work of Antonio Gagini, and is considered to be one of the jewels of the church.  The eight carved side panels represent the Scenes of the Passion.  In the center, there is a chalice with the host and angels, while the Holy Spirit flies above, in the form of a dove.

The baptismal font dates from 1755, and is the work of Filippo Pennino, who carved it to a design by Ignazio Marabitti.

The Teatro Biondo was opened in 1903.  The building was designed by the architect, Nicolò Mineo, in 1899.  The theater takes its name from the three brothers who financed the construction: Andrea, Eugenio, and Luigi Biondo.

The Palazzo del Credito Italiano was built in the 1920s, by the architect, Pietro Scibilia, whose construction plans actually incorporated part of a pre-existing structure, the Palazzo Monteleone.  For many years, this building functioned as the headquarters of the National Credit Bank.

The Palazzo delle Poste dates from 1929, and was designed by the architect, Angiolo Mazzoni.


Next up: We continue to explore more of our neighborhood in Palermo!


Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear.  If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Palermo, as well as other Italian destinations.  Grazie!


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