Church of St. Cataldo
Church of St. Cataldo
4.5
About
This small church of San Cataldo was built in 1160, during the Norman occupation of Palermo.
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The area

Neighborhood: Tribunali
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Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,058 reviews
Excellent
566
Very good
329
Average
105
Poor
37
Terrible
21

Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,995 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
San Cataldo was listed as a World Heritage Site in 2015. Unfortunately, it was under repair when we were there in February which was disappointing but I guess that one has to expect that 12th century churches need maintenance from time to time.
Scaffolding and hoarding covered the whole church so we were unable to see anything, not even the 3 distinctive pinky red domes that it is well known for. Luckily right next door is the church of Martorana and opposite is the church and convent of Santa Caterina. Santa Caterina was open and was excellent.
Written October 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

IlyaNJ
Marlboro, NJ991 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
This is the least interesting of the UNESCO-inscribed sites in Palermo, IMHO. The three red domes are certainly distinctive, but the interior is small, without much detail, and while certainly a great example of a historic mosque/church, not very visually unique. Worth a quick look, no more. (There are no mosaics in this church - the mosaics are actually in Ammiraglio church next door.)
Written October 7, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Gyula
Budapest42 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022
The cheekiest rip-off I've ever come across. At first I wondered why both entrances to the church were carefully curtained off, but then - after paying the 2.5 euros - I understood everything. Inside there is NOTHING except walls and a weak crucifix. It is a simple disgrace. The curtaining clearly shows that it is a deliberate scam. Unfortunately, I can't give you a zero. Avoid far!
By comparison, the architectural wonder next door, the beautiful La Martorana, can be visited for 2 euros.
Written July 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brun066
Florence, Italy13,213 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
The visitor who enters the San Cataldo church in Palermo today has probably already previously seen some images of this church, or of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, or of both; and he will therefore have perceived the strength that their red domes give to the layout of these two churches. I don't know if there is an investigation into this; but probably, if carried out, it would reveal that the red domes are the prevailing perceptive data in the collective mental images of the two churches.
Well, there are strong doubts that the reddish color was the original one of these domes, when the church was built, as the chapel of a large palace of the "admiral" (in reality: supreme official) Maione da Bari, minister of the King of Sicily Guglielmo I (1154-1160). Some scholars exclude that the domes were red, others believe it possible; but in short there are very strong doubts on the question.
But in any case, who would want to eliminate red from the domes today? It would be like wanting to make the Parthenon polychrome again, since it was originally so. The layout of these monuments is now "ours", more than it's that of their founders.
Apart from the domes, on my last visit (which isn't the first) I found San Cataldo very evocative, even more so than nearby Martorana (because heavily transformed in the early modern age). The central plan of the church recalls the idea of perfection - according to the Neoplatonic ideal which would later be adopted by Bramante and other architects of the Italian Renaissance - an idea which is reiterated by the simplicity of the external walls (interrupted by simple, beautiful windows) and by the the essentiality of the interior, in which the columns, arches, domes and the splendid original floor compose a sublime play of volumes and lights.
Written December 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Cynicoren
Beersheba, Israel2,920 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2023 • Family
This church is better to watch from the outside.
It has historical significance, so they charge a small fee to see it - We were there less than 2 minutes, looking around trying to find something worth looking on.
Save your time and money.
Written October 7, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ElizabethofCarrick
Toronto, Canada39 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020 • Solo
Covered for renovations and that is truly a gift!
You enter through a small door and you are changed forever!!! The solidity and the rising of the architectural space actually grounds and transcends at the same time. It is the womb and the eternal. An experience never to be forgotten!
Written January 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Aburel
Bucharest, Romania3,146 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2019 • Family
After visiting the famous neighbor Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio, aka La Martorana make a short stop. The Outside is under construction but you still can see the three cupolas. Mignon, delicate and very beautiful, a perfect place to think, admire, pray.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Michele
Greater London, UK9 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Solo
They charge 2.5 euro for this place.
It is a bare bone room with nothing in it.
Not much historical material nor a guide.
They have curtains to cover the inside because people wouldn't even get in.
Scam!!!!
Written March 1, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Seeking True Quality
Europe4,846 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2023 • Couples
This tiny church, founded around 1154 with the three red domes on top is a unique example of the Arab architectural influence in Normal Sicily.
After we entered, it was so contemplative and inspiring although it had almost no decoration. Nowadays it belongs to the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, and because of that, the walls contain the five-fold Jerusalem Cross.
We are so happy that we were inside it...
Written April 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Debbie M
Littlehampton, UK1,931 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
The San Cataldo chapel is located in Piazza Bellini up a flight of steps and directly adjacent to Santa Maria dell' Ammiraglio (La Martorana). Built in the twelfth century it is easily recognisable by the row of three Arab-style red domes lining the roof and the arched windows. The chapel is open during the morning only and costs 1.5 euros to enter. There is a mosaic floor and the interior is unadorned but the plain white walls are beautiful with their cupola (not sure if this is the correct term for the architecture!) arches. I appreciated the stunning simplicity of the interior of this chapel after viewing the beautiful frescoes and decoration of La Martorana and felt they complimented each other. I was immediately reminded of the expression "less is more". Combined with La Martorana, this was one of my favourite sights. I would recommend visiting La Martorana first, then visit this Chapel to really appreciate the contrast.
Written September 30, 2007
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Church of St. Cataldo, Palermo

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