Built in the 17th Century, the new Via Maqueda became the grounds for competition among Palermo’s noble families, showing their power by erecting magnificent palaces. Saint Elia Palace, with its 15 baroque balconies on a facade 75 meters (246 feet) long, is one of the widest and most sumptuous in Palermo. It was built between 1756 and 1776 by architects N. Anito and G. Cascione, commissioned by the Celestri marquises, then became property of Trigona of Sant’Elia, a princess who rented the main floor to the Palermo Senate. After World War II, the building was abandoned, ruined and bought by the district administration, who had it restored, creating a prestigious gallery for temporary art exhibitions. The elegant white and ochre facade is embellished by two armorial bearings, supported by playful cherubims, and various medallions adorn the tympanums which hold busts of dames and other subjects. Two doorways lead to the courtyards adorned with fairy statues and scenic staircases, which lead to the upper levels. The walls inside are embellished with stuccoed decorations by Aloisio Romano. The ceilings are decorated with sumptuous baroque frescoes by: Ottavio Violante, Rocco Nobile, Mariano di Paola, Pietro Bilardi and Nicolò Noto, all representing fairy scenes of classical mithology which allude to the dynasty’s greatness.
- Open Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 09:00 AM to 01:00 PM, Tuesday to Sunday from 04:00 PM to 07:30 PM
Attractions & Landmarks, Arts & Museums