La Cuba

La Cuba, Palermo: Address, Phone Number, La Cuba Reviews: 3.5/5

Historic Sites • Architectural Buildings • Military Bases & Facilities
The area
Address

3.5
98 reviews
Excellent
18
Very good
30
Average
27
Poor
14
Terrible
9

darthmalik
Sheffield, UK21 contributions
Nothing there
Aug 2019 • Couples
You can seriously get all you need from the pictures. There's barely any info about the place there and what there is, is only in Italian, so if you don't read/speak Italian you're done for. The Fort itself is fully in ruins, no good examples of architecture that you can't see just walking around the historic part of Palermo. €2 each wasn't much to pay, however I'd much rather have had a coffee or a bottle of water. I know if people don't visit it'll fall into further disrepair, but it's really not worth the effort.
Written August 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Daniela V
Cervo, Italia1,717 contributions
A forgotten jewel
May 2018 • Couples
La Cuba is a medieval Arab castle shaped like a cube. It is now a ruin, but its massive structure is still there to inspire awe. Unfortunately, no guided tours nor explanations in written form are given. The plates are so worn out, they have become illegible. The wardens are supernumerary, but they seem to do nothing at all, except collect visitors' money. Shame.
Written May 6, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carrie P
Greater London, UK255 contributions
Norman castle palace - neglected gem and phoenician necropolis
Apr 2017 • Solo
Perhaps Palermo's administrators thought that one Great Norman palace was enough. This sad remnant of a glorious 'cuboid' palace of the 12th century which stood alongside its own moat and developed gardens doubtless full of Arab citrus legacy, is now redolent of Grand Tour descriptions of 'wasted structures of former glories'.

Its roof long gone, its inner floors collapsed, this ruin stands resiliently against the onset of 20th century buildings which crowd their concrete presence against the walls of this former royal residence. The appalling concrete building alongside one of its internal boundary perimeters is even harder to understand, including the ubiquitous concrete which covers its entire footprint - where an orange or citrus grove should be planted - at minimal cost for the city council and to be received with gratitude by the visitor.

Alongside this sadly neglected treasure - less than a kilometre walk away, are some of the earliest remains of Sicily's first recorded colonists - the Phoenicians. Dating back to 500BC these punic tombs are open to the visitor - ask at the Cuba's ticket office for someone to accompany you - they need unlocking.Worth the diversion - a rare treat to look ancient death rites in the face.

There are things you can do to prepare for a site which has a parlous lack of explanation and even less municipal care given to it. Email Palermo's council #lacuba and inform them that this site is up for a UNESCO status in the historic evolution of Sicily and the architectural legacy of the Normans. It may not do any good, but many raindrops di overcome the mountain of resistance in limestone history.
Written April 12, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

KTGP
Adelaide, Australia5,904 contributions
FANTASTIC 6TH CENTURY NECROPOLIS AND 12TH CENTURY CASTLE
Apr 2016 • Couples
Built in 1180 by William II, it is a Norman construction but heavy with Islamic influences. This was a grand palace, which must have looked spectacular, standing in its own artificial lake, surrounded by William’s Royal Park. There is not much left of the interior, although the exterior gives some indication of its former glory over 800 years ago. In the 16th century it was used as a hospital for lepers. There is no information in English at the site, so it would be a good idea to read up on it before going. There is a model of the palace, which has seen better days.

The added bonus of going to this site, is one of the staff take you down the street about 150 metres to see the Punic Necropolis. The tombs are from 6th century BC, to 3rd century BC and a walkway runs around the perimeter, for viewing. Some of the tombs have been left as they were found, this includes pottery and some skeletal remains. It is permissible to enter into one of the tombs, which includes remains and pottery but a hard hat is required to do so. These are very basic hole in the ground tombs, not like the more elaborate Etruscan tombs. There are numerous boards in English with details about the site.

Both of these sites are amazing, the necropolis especially and to see both of them costs €2. Can’t quite figure why this isn’t rated higher than #99 on Tripadvisor.
Written July 10, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Carola K
Valkenburg, The Netherlands59 contributions
No English information available
Sep 2015 • Couples
Loved to see this. But no English information was availabe. Nobody spoke English. It is absolutely worth a visit. Looks wonderfull, but I wish we could have gotten more background info. We didn't spend a lot of time here.
Written September 1, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Stephen N
Lauria, Italy114 contributions
Cube and Cemetery
Feb 2015 • Couples
The Cuba is a great structure but so little remains its just an evocation of the great Norman past.
The real treat to this visit is that for the price of your cheap ticket you get to see the Punic cemetery established by the first colonial settlers the Phoenicians, its well done with access to the tombs and only five minutes walk away.
Ask at the ticket office and someone will take you down open it up and odds on it will just be you and the remnants of people from 500 bc.
you are staring at the beginning of Palermo.
Written March 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dave H
Newport, UK313 contributions
More information required.
Jun 2013 • Couples
As per review below it really needs updating in terms of maintenance and information provision. The panels are still faded and barely legible. Particularly unique and just a stone's throw away from the Cappuchin catacombs it is worth a visit to see yet more Arabic/Norman influence. Entry in June 2013 was €2.50.
Written June 10, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

AnnyDirk
Zwalm, Belgium189 contributions
Interesting but badly managed!
Oct 2012 • Couples
Like the Zisa, this palace is quit badly maintained and the museological value casi inexistent due to the lack of maintenance and readable explanatory panels. (The ones that still are present are so bleached by the sun that they have become unreadable).
These buildings have a great historical value, and are unique to the region, why then are they not taken care of.
Written October 19, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

parlogilese
Winchester10 contributions
a curious diversion
La Cuba is one of the stranger pieces of Arab-Norman architecture in the city, a giant cube-shaped structure hidden away off the Corso Calatafimi, the road to Monreale on the SW side of the city centre. It costs €2 to get in, but like most of the Arab-Norman buildings, it looks more interesting from outside. There's nothing much inside apart from an Arabic inscription on one of the walls, but it's interesting to wander around nevertheless. A little further along, down the Via Zangla is its little sister, La Cubula, a similarly shaped edifice but about a third of the size, and with a characteristic little red dome. This one isn't possible to enter, fenced off from the street, overgrown with weeds and surrounded by blocks of flats. Worth a peek once you've seen all the major sights.
Written September 27, 2009
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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