Palermo – Day 3 – Part 3 – Santa Maria della Catena and the Surrounding Area

Diagonally across the street from the Chiesa di San Giovanni dei Napoletani was our next destination, the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Catena.  This church dates from 1490, when it was built to house a chapel from a pre-existing, smaller church, where a miracle had taken place.  It seems that in 1342, three prisoners, who were sentenced to die for crimes they were innocent of, were put into the chapel during a violent storm, as a safety precaution.  In the middle of the storm, a fresco of the Virgin came to life, spoke to the prisoners,  and then, released the three from the chains that bound them, setting them free.  And so, the church we see today was built!  It was designed by the architect, Matteo Carnilivari.

The Cappella di Santa Maria della Catena is the chapel where the miracle took place.

Before leaving the church, take a moment, and take in the view of the surrounding area from the porch!

An old bath house, near the waterfront, is now occupied by shops and apartments.

The Palazzo Calvello di Melia is at Via Alloro, #12, and dates from the 16th century.

Even though it was closed at the time of our visit, and the property did not look as if anyone had been there for quite a while, we could not help but feel intrigued by the Museo della Scuola, or the School Museum.

Badly damaged by bombings in World War II, the Palazzo Bonagia, which dates from the 15th century, is sadly in a state of ruin today, even though numerous efforts have been made in the past, to restore the building to its former splendor.


Next up: We explore more historic palaces 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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