Chiaramonte Steri Palace in Palermo

Chiaramonte Steri Palace in Palermo

Palickap - CC4.0


 Piazza Marina - Palermo (PA)

The Palazzo Chiaramonte Steri , built in 1307, is the greatest example of clear mountain art : an exclusively Sicilian art that arises from the encounter of Islamic, Norman and Gothic forms and from the influence that the prestigious Chiaramonte family exercised on architectural culture.
Over the course of history, the palace-fortress of the Chiaramonte has been the seat of the Royal Curia and the Court of the Inquisition. witnessed many historical events: the navy floor, where he stood, was the scene of solemn representations such as horseback riding, tournaments, jousting, but also of executions of death row inmates.
The building still bears the marks of its history: in the second order it is possible to observe grooves in the stone. These grooves were left by the heavy iron cages that hung from the battlements of the palace where the heads of the nobles sentenced to death due to the pro-French conspiracy of 1523 remained exposed.
The palace represents one of the first examples of a noble palace in Italy thanks to the presence of an internal courtyard with an underlying portico and an upper loggia. In the main façade there are large double and triple lancet windows with inlaid decoration typical of the fourteenth-century architectural tradition.
On the eastern side of the building stands the fourteenth-century chapel of Sant'Antonio Abate commissioned by Manfredi Chiaramonte and used as a private chapel. Of value are the ribbed vaulted ceiling and the fifteenth-century portal. The internal courtyard with a double loggia portico features a series of pointed arches resting on columns with capitals of different appearance and different origins.
The building now houses the university rectorate . On the ground floor the Sala Magna, today an exhibition hall, has a spine of large stone arches that crosses the whole environment, on the first floor the Sala Magna instead has a wooden coffered ceiling of rare beauty: scenes from the ancient will, chivalrous legends, popular episodes, love scenes, noble coats of arms and celebratory episodes of the Chiaramonte family. The mullioned windows of the room are accompanied by thin white columns adorned with carved tuff frames and zigzag inlays in lava stone, a typical motif of Chiaramonte art.
On the first floor there are other representative rooms of remarkable value : the rector's room, the viceroy's room with a fine wooden ceiling, the “Capriate” room with its open features that support the roof.
Inside the palace there are also the < b> prisons of the penitentiates , the torture rooms and the connecting compartments of the cells with the "secret room", where the inquisitors met to issue sentences. These works were built in the early seventeenth century when the building was used as a court of the Inquisition. In the cells were discovered, by the scholar Giuseppe Pitre, under the plaster graffiti with drawings and sentences of pain of the prisoners who were imprisoned there.

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