/ / Palazzo Duca di San Stefano: photo, description, Palazzo Duchi Di Santo Stefano)

Palazzo Duca di San Stefano: photo, description, Palazzo Duchi Di Santo Stefano)

Palazzo Duca di San Stefano - the ancient building in Taormina, built in the 14th century in Gothic-Catalan style, with an admixture of Arab-Norman elements. A Palace, more like a fortress, it consists of three floors, each of which is decorated with wonderful arched Windows with two doors. On the lower floor is accessed through the arched passage, and the second floor is notable for its system of bridges. Today the Palazzo houses the headquarters of the Fund, Mazzello, and it also houses many works of art in Sicily.

The square form of the Palace, its massive, the location and the walls with battlements make it look like a fortress and is forced to think that it was built during the Norman domination in Sicily. But it is not. In the 14th century, standing not far from Porta Catania, dwelt a noble family of De Spuches, who had Spanish roots. Its members were the Dukes of Santo Stefano di Brief and princes of Galati, two towns located on the coast of the Ionian sea. In front of the Palace, facing North and East, there is a beautiful garden. Of course, the Palazzo Duca di San Stefano is one of the masterpieces of Sicilian Gothic art, which combines the features of Arab and Norman architectural styles.

Echoes of the Arabic era can be seen in the decorations of the upper part of the Palace: a wide frieze runs along the Eastern and Northern facades, ornately decorated with volcanic lava and diamond-shaped inlays in white Siracusa stone. The Norman influence is expressed in a square layout of the building in the form of a tower that resembles a forked battlements of the fortification wall.

The Palazzo consists of three overlapping sections. Entrance on the first floor is a Lancet arch, built of square blocks of black basalt and white granite. On the second floor was accessible by means of suspended walkways and moving stairs through a small door, which can be seen today between two arched Windows. Internal stairs made of wood, was built during the restoration of the building. Finally, on the third floor has four magnificent Windows made, no doubt, in the Gothic style, two facing East and two North. All four Windows are very elaborate - they have a round rose window, a small trogdolyte arch and the triple cordon, surrounding the arch. In the center of the first floor rises a column of pink granite, it is considered that once it was installed in the ancient Greek temple. In the garden, to the side which faces the majestic facades, you can see a well for collecting rainwater, which was used for the needs of the inhabitants of the Palace.

In 1964, the municipality of Taormina for 64 million lire bought Palazzo Duca di San Stefano, Vincenzo De Spuches, a young descendant of a noble family that lived in Palermo. Today, this historic building hosts the Foundation Mazzullo managed by a talented sculptor, whose works can be seen inside.