Si Trova: a Palermo
Lat: 38° 6' 41.99373" N - Long: 13° 21' 12.08204" E
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The Palazzo dei Normanni in Palermo is the seat of the Sicilian Regional Assembly, inserted in 2015 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It is one of the most visited monuments on the island and is the oldest royal residence in Europe.
The first construction is attributed to the period of Arab domination.
The Normans changed the previous building into a multi-purpose center that had to express the power of the monarchy.
Four towers characterize the main nucleus of the Norman palace; these are linked together with a system of porticos alternating with gardens.
The complex was also directly connected to the cathedral via a covered street.
In 1132, under the reign of Roger II, the wonderful Cappella Palatina was built, a jewel of absolute value, which became the center of gravity of the various structures in which the building was divided.
Frederick II of Swabia organized the administrative and cultural activities and hosted the Sicilian Poetic School.
In the second half of the sixteenth century the Spanish viceroys used it as residence, bringing major renovations aimed at both representation and military needs, with the creation of a system of ramparts.
The Bourbons built additional reception rooms (the Red Room, the Yellow Room and the Green Room) and the Sala d'Ercole was restructured.
In addition to the Palatine Chapel, the parts of construction attributed to the Normans are the Torre Pisana, seat of the Treasury room, and the Torre della Gioaria, which houses the Sala degli Armigeri on the lower floor and the so-called "Parliamentary Plan" on the upper floor.
Sala dei Venti and the marvelous hall of King Ruggero, decorated with mosaics of the Byzantine school, object of admiration all over the world, depicting hunting scenes.
On the second floor of the building there are also the Sala d'Ercole, the Sala Gialla and the Sala dei Viceré; the rooms are connected to the so-called crypt by two side staircases; the crypt is actually a Byzantine-inspired church consisting of a square-shaped room below the presbytery, divided by two stone columns and characterized by a large central apse and two smaller side apses.
King Ruggero's room is located inside the Pisan Tower and is characterized by a mosaic decoration dating back to the 12th century.
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 8.15 am to 5.40 pm, last ticket at 5.00 pm.
Sunday and holidays from 8:15 to 13:00, last ticket 12.15.
N.B.: the visit to the Palatine Chapel is not allowed on Sundays and holidays from 9.45 am to 11.15 am.
Ticket price: from Friday to Monday and holidays: full price € 8.50, reduced € 6.50.
From Tuesday to Thursday, or if the Royal Apartments cannot be visited: full price € 7.00; reduced € 5.00.
For info: www.ars.sicilia.it
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