This peculiar little cubic building, located beside Palermo’s Cathedral, is one of the oldest churches in town. It was erected between 1171 and 1174 to host the remains of Saint Catherine, to which the church is dedicated. The stone structure of tufa, or tuff, with its centrifugal layout testifies to the Medieval Arabic-Norman taste for simple shapes and geometrical precision. Due to the lack of the typical central dome, it is thought to have been originally conceived as the ground floor of a watchtower. The interiors have wide ogival arches based on four large pillars. On the left side, one can admire a finely carved 17th-century door. The original apse was destroyed in the 17th Century and replaced with a large late-Mannerist chapel, covered with stucco works and marble inlays, anticipating Palermo’s rich Baroque style.
- Open Hours: Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM, Thursday from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM, Saturday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 01:00 PM
- Nearest Train: Metro A (stop: Orleans Station/Piazza Indipendenza)