Lat: 38° 6' 56.36959" N - Long: 13° 21' 40.59607" E
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Several styles have been left in Palermo by various dominations; This gives a unique charm to this town: the historical capital of Sicily.
This is also the fifth Italian town by population.
Lying on the plain of the Conca d'Oro, it is surrounded by mountains.
Palermo has always been a cultural and commercial center between the West and Asia; has a remarkable artistic and architectural heritage: remains of the Punic walls, Art Nouveau villas, monuments in Arab-Norman style, baroque churches, neoclassical theaters.
From 1160 to 1816, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily.
Now it is the head office of the Sicilian Regional Assembly.
Palermo was founded by the Phoenicians, who called it Panormus (all-port); the first conquest took place by the Romans; then the barbarian invasions caused devastation.
Then the Byzantines came here and hold Palermo for three centuries.
In 831 it was conquered by the Arabs, who made it the capital of Sicily.
In 1071 Palermo was conquered by the Normans, who made it Catholic.
After the Normans, other royal houses alternated on the throne of Palermo: the Swabians, the Angevins, the Spaniards, who made Palermo the seat of the Viceroy, allowing Sicily to maintain its autonomy, while remaining within the sphere of the Spanish kingdom.
The Bourbons instead unified Sicily with the kingdom of Naples, with the double consequence of moving the capital to Naples.
Sicily lost its secular state of autonomous kingdom.
Following the Unification of Italy, the two most representative theaters of the city were built: the Massimo and the Politeama ones.
In the first twenty years of the twentieth century it crossed a florid era, with a brief intense 'liberty' period; during the Second World War it suffered considerable destruction due to anglo-american bombing.
The Norman residences, the cathedral and the other churches along with the Arab-Norman itinerary of Monreale and Cefalù, have been included by UNESCO in the list of the world heritage of humanity; however, various buildings are already recognized and protected as national monuments.
Important monuments dating back to the Norman period are: the Palazzo dei Normanni, the Cappella Palatina, the Duomo, the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, which with its characteristic red domes has become one of the symbols of the city, the Martorana Church, with a mosaic rich in decorations, of the purest Byzantine style, the church of San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi, the Magione Basilica, the San Cataldo Church.
In the cathedral are preserved sarcophagi of Frederick II, Roger II and members of royal families, in addition to the golden tiara of Constance of Sicily and other precious ornaments and royal jewels on exposure.
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