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San Giovanni degli Eremiti and Casa Professa

San Giovanni degli Eremiti and Casa Professa

Discovering the churches of Palermo's historical center

San Giovanni degli Eremiti

San Giovanni degli Eremiti is a church of Norman origin located on the bed of the Kemonia river, now dry, which bordered the eastern part of the ancient Punic Paleopoles. The Church of Jesus, known as Casa Professa, is a baroque jewel with sumptuous shapes, typical of the artistic style of the late '500.

A walk between the Arab-Norman style and the baroque of Palermo with Il Giardino di Ballarò

Like other buildings made during the Norman kingdom, the Church was designed for Christian masses, and adapts to a previous square-shaped building of Muslim origin of the 10th century, probably a mosque. Some original parts are still visible in the structure that develops to the right of the apse and in the inner cloister, similar in structure to that of the Cathedral of Monreale.

The five semi-spheres on the roof, previously white and only after painted red, recall the Islamic architecture typical of Palermo and provide a characteristic appearance to the construction, made with strict geometric lines and harmonic proportions.

Next to the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti there is the Church of St. George in Kemonia, nineteenth century, connected to the convent of the White Benedictine Fathers, which stood out from the Black neighbors because of the color of the tunics worn. The Church was built near a convent in 1148 by the will of Ruggero II, who in 1136 had entrusted the ancient monastery, founded in the 6th century by Gregorio Magno, and dedicated to St. Ermete, to the Benedictine Fathers of Monreale.

Casa Professa

The Church of Jesus, known as Casa Professa, is a Baroque jewel of sumptuous forms, typical of the artistic style of the late '500, when the Jesuits who came to the city as a result of the Spanish viceroy were entrusted with the construction of a church that represented the power and importance of the religious order in the city.

The church was built between 1564 and 1663 on a small natural hill, rich in caves and near the Kemonia river, already a place of worship on the arrival of the Jesuits, who adapted the structure, creating a unique building in Sicily.

The church is part of the complex called Casa Professa of the Jesuits, which also includes a colonnaded cloister, that today is the atrium of the Municipal Library, and the Saturday Oratory, richly decorated with white stucco made by Procopio Serpotta.

 

The B&B Il Giardino di Ballarò is near San Giovanni degli Eremiti

The Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti is just 5-minute walk away from our B&B. To reach it just walk all the way through Via Porta di Castro, the street where our bed and breakfast is located, and the walk for 100 meters in Via dei Benedettini. In this last part you can also visit St. George's Church in Kemonia.

 

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