The church recommended by the tourist office

The church recommended by the tourist office

[Jan. 2024] On our staycation in Palermo, Sicily, Italy, the next day we went to see the church Chiesa di Santissimo Salvatore.

My husband had been strongly recommended to go here when he went to the tourist office a few days earlier.

Palermo's main street, via Vittorio Emanuele where Chiesa di Santissimo Salvatore is located
the main street in Palermo, via Vittorio Emanuele

It faces the main street, Via Vittorio Emanuele, but it is not very noticeable from the outside, so you might pass it by without noticing.

On top of that, it is only open for a limited time.

We went there once, but it was closed, so we went back.

But it was worth it.

It was a church with a very unusual structure.

First, when you open the entrance door, there is a staircase right in front of you.

the oval-shaped room of Chiesa di Santissimo Salvatore in Palermo, Sicily in Italy
the oval-shaped interior

I think we paid the entrance fee of €2 per person at this stage.

We had a discount ticket that we had bought at the first church we entered in the town, so it was this price, but I think it would have been €4 without it.

We went up the stairs and opened the curtains to find an oval-shaped room.

It was covered with elaborate decorations on all sides.

I wonder if there are no architectural rules for churches.

the ceiling of Chiesa di Santissimo Salvatore in Palermo, Sicily in Italy
the frescoes were damaged on the ceiling

According to the information board there, this church was originally built in 1071 during the Norman era, but the nuns of the wealthy nunnery attached to it expanded it in 1682, and it took on its current form.

At that time, the Norman style was lost and Baroque architecture took over.

It is said to be one of the most famous Baroque buildings in the town to this day.

In 1943 during World War II, it was heavily damaged in an air raid, and some of the frescoes and wall decorations were spoiled, and indeed we could see the frescoes on the ceiling remained damaged.

It was left abandoned for a while after that, but was reborn as a music hall in the mid-20th century.

the chairs inside Chiesa di Santissimo Salvatore in Palermo, Sicily in Italy
the chairs with interesting design

I wondered if it was no longer a church in that case, so we asked the staff, and she told us, “We don’t hold mass, but we do hold weddings here.

Of course, it’s also used as a concert venue.

Perhaps because of this, one of the things that catches your eye in this church are the rows of chairs.

The chair has an interesting design, made up with the circle shapes, and they look very comfortable to sit on.

Next time I visit this town, I’d like to relax and listen to some Baroque music here.