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“A not hidden gem” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Church of San Cataldo

Church of San Cataldo
Piazza Bellini, Palermo, Sicily, Italy (Tribunali)
091-6161692
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Ranked #24 of 143 Attractions in Palermo
Type: Religious Sites, Cultural
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Attraction details
Owner description: This small church of San Cataldo was built in 1160, during the Norman occupation of Palermo.
Oakland, California, United States
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
23 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“A not hidden gem”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

I stopped by this afternoon to check and see when the church was open (my guidebook said mornings only) but in fact it was open and a pleasure to see. Two lovely women greet you (neither distracted on telefonino as is often typical) and help you!

I had a number of questions about the lovely little chapel - such as: Why are the domes painted red? They were able to answer me - in English even - and say that a small pink swatch of paint was found in the 19th century by the person restoring the church then and from that, the idea came that the domes had originally been painted red. In fact, they said, this is wrong - the domes were originally painted white. At any rate, it's pretty amazing that they haven't repainted it to WHITE. In addition, the other church - St. John of the Hermits - with red domes was painted in response to the same 19th century mistake. Now the red seems so iconic. And yet...I hope one day they will paint the domes white.

In addition there is a small book about the church (written in a very archaic and convoluted text, but at least there IS a book) available for sale of 2.5 EU which says that they believe the walls would have been covered with mosaics.

The feeling is quite lovely inside. I had to ask about The Knights, as well.

To me, this kind of Arab-Norman architecture is what is most unique about Palermo and what I look forward to reading up about when I get home from my trip.

Visited October 2012
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Normal, Illinois
Top Contributor
398 reviews 398 reviews
199 attraction reviews
Reviews in 137 cities Reviews in 137 cities
154 helpful votes 154 helpful votes
“Arab-Norman structure”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

This former small Arab mosque converted by the Normans to a small catholic church looks nstunning with it's rich red dome. The church is being refurbished inside so it is closed for visits.

Visited October 2012
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Montreal, Canada
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 47 cities Reviews in 47 cities
99 helpful votes 99 helpful votes
“Sublime Simplicity”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 12, 2012

Peaceful, charming and inspiring, especially among the neighbouring churches. Worth a detour, together with San Giovanni degli Eremiti.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gent, België
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
77 attraction reviews
Reviews in 35 cities Reviews in 35 cities
88 helpful votes 88 helpful votes
“Superb little church”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012

Located on a square that has no less than 3 churches. This small but elegant building is certainly one of the most interesting historical buildings of the city. Keep the tickets they give you right of access at a reduced fee to some of the other churches in Palermo.

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Malmesbury
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
13 attraction reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Pretty little church”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 4, 2012

A neat, nice and not too improved XIIth cent church , pleasant to pop in and see for ten minutes.
It has not been overlaid with baroque marble and gilt like so many Sicilian churches.

Visited October 2012
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