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Oratory of Santa Caterina d'Alessandria


"A Little Treasure in Olivella"

On a narrow street in the Olivella area the tradition says there stood the ancient house of Saint Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo. This is the site where the brotherhood of Saint Catherine built a little gem of Sicilian Rococo, at the beginning of the 18th Century. Saint Catherine's Oratory has a quite bare facade and a rather simple layout, but the decoration inside is quite rich. The sculptors, Giacomo and Procopio Serpotta and Domenico Castelli, covered the walls and ceiling with white and golden stucco statues and bas-reliefs, whereas the floor has colorful geometrical marble patterns done by Gioacchino and Nicolò Vitagliano. Above the entrance two fine statues personify Science and Wisdom, while eight gentle statues on each side are allegories of the sciences, representing Dialectic, Physics, Geometry, Theology, Astrology, Geography, Ethics and Rhetoric. On the walls there are fine paintings by Giuseppe Salerno, known as “Lo Zoppo di Gangi” (Gangi's Limp), telling the story of Saint Catherine’s martyrdom. The Oratory can also boast a fine wooden pipe organ from the 18th Century, and a pretty cloister with a red marble fountain dedicated to Saint Rosalia.
Via Monteleone 50, Palermo, Italy, 90133
Today: 09:00 AM - 02:00 PM Closed Now
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Sunday to Saturday 09:00 AM to 02:00 PM
"A Little Treasure in Olivella"
On a narrow street in the Olivella area the tradition says there stood the ancient house of Saint Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo. This is the site where the brotherhood of Saint Catherine built a little gem of Sicilian Rococo, at the beginning of the 18th Century. Saint Catherine's Oratory has a quite bare facade and a rather simple layout, but the decoration inside is quite rich. The sculptors, Giacomo and Procopio Serpotta and Domenico Castelli, covered the walls and ceiling with white and golden stucco statues and bas-reliefs, whereas the floor has colorful geometrical marble patterns done by Gioacchino and Nicolò Vitagliano. Above the entrance two fine statues personify Science and Wisdom, while eight gentle statues on each side are allegories of the sciences, representing Dialectic, Physics, Geometry, Theology, Astrology, Geography, Ethics and Rhetoric. On the walls there are fine paintings by Giuseppe Salerno, known as “Lo Zoppo di Gangi” (Gangi's Limp), telling the story of Saint Catherine’s martyrdom. The Oratory can also boast a fine wooden pipe organ from the 18th Century, and a pretty cloister with a red marble fountain dedicated to Saint Rosalia.
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