We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Norman-Arabic Architectural Gem”

Church of San Cataldo
Ranked #20 of 393 things to do in Palermo
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: This small church of San Cataldo was built in 1160, during the Norman occupation of Palermo.
Reviewed March 27, 2013

San Cataldo, a little church just south of Quattro Canti, has 3 small red domes. Founded around 1160, it is an interesting blend of Norman and Arabic architecture, making it worth a visit for those interested in the unique Sicilian blend of styles. It has its original mosaic floor. Owned by the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher, there is an entry fee of 2.50 € ($3.20 or so), which may discourage the casual visitor. (The ticket gives reduced price admission to other religious sites). There is a helpful explanatory sign in English as well as Italian. The entrance is via a set of steps.

1  Thank Eclipsegroupie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review
Reviews (676)
There are newer reviews for Church of San Cataldo
See the most recent reviews
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

100 - 104 of 676 reviews

Reviewed February 21, 2013

It is rather expensive especially due to the size (smallest church is palermo?) and was pleasant inside. unfortuately spoilt by a coach load of tourists who arrived at once, cameras ablast, so the church was full ...and I promptly left!

Thank serena99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

I would venture to think most people see this small church while travelling through the old city of Palermo, but a stop to see the inside is worth the few minutes to look it over, staff was helpful and the authentically restored interior is worth the visit.

Thank Warner L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

The church is very small, but beautiful. I like this kind of churches.
But I think it's a crime to take money for a visit lasting 5 minutes or even less.

Thank Tatiana T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.

1  Thank Pam S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Church of San Cataldo also viewed

 
Palermo, Province of Palermo
Palermo, Province of Palermo
 

Been to Church of San Cataldo? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing