/ / San Giovanni degli eremiti: photos, description, San Giovanni degli Eremiti)

San Giovanni degli eremiti: photos, description, San Giovanni degli Eremiti)

San Giovanni degli eremiti is one of the largest monasteries in Palermo, once belonged to the Benedictine monks. Located between Palazzo dei Normanni and the Church of San Giuseppe in Cafasso, it is a monument of Arab-Norman architecture.

According to legend, in the beginning of the 1st Millennium, this place was a pagan temple of mercury. In the 6th century by order of Pope Gregory I here was founded a monastery, consecrated in honor of St. Hermias. And when Sicily was captured by the Arabs, they converted the monastery into a mosque. However, historians and archaeologists have not been able to discover in the place of San Giovanni degli eremiti traces how the ancient pagan temple and later a monastery and a mosque, so all of the above remains only a legend.

It is known, however, that in 1136 Roger II ordered to build near his Royal Palace, a Benedictine monastery for monks of MONTEVERGINE. Interestingly, the Abbot of the monastery he was ordained a Bishop and became the personal Confessor of the king. He had the right to worship in the famous the Cappella Palatina. The Roger II also bequeathed to bury all the uncrowned members of his family in this monastery, but his instruction was never implemented.

The causes of the desolation of the monastery still remain unknown. In the middle of the 15th century cardinal Giovanni Nicola Ursino with the permission of Pope Paul II gave the building to the monks of San Martino delle Rock. And in 1866 San Giovanni degli eremiti, like most of the monasteries of Italy were abolished. In the late 19th century its walls were carried out extensive restoration work, which resulted in the building got its original Arab-Norman shape. Today it is a Museum.

The architecture of the monastery and its accompanying Church is quite remarkable. A distinctive feature of the Church are five red hemispherical domes, characteristic of the mosques of Egypt and North Africa. In Palermo, something similar can be found in Church of San Cataldo. To the right of the Church built a small rectangular building, which is considered a modified Arabic mosque 9-11 centuries. However, evidence of this was found. Another feature of San Giovanni degli eremiti is the fact that its cloister gallery, forming a courtyard that has no roof.

The interior of the religious complex is very strict - there was no traces of mosaics or frescoes, which probably disappeared due to a long absence the roof of the Church.