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Palermo,Monreale & Cefalu

  • Palermo was founded by Phoenician traders in the 8th century BC.The Arabs conquered Palermo in 831, and it flourished as a centre of rich trade with North Africa. Palermo was thus quite prosperous when it fell to the Norman adventurers in 1072. The ensuing era of Norman rule (1072–1194) was Palermo’s golden age, particularly after the founding of the Norman in 1130.the city became the capital of this kingdom, in which Greeks, Arabs, Jews, and Normans worked together with singular harmony to create a cosmopolitan culture of remarkable vitality.alermo has some notable buildings from the Norman and succeeding periods. A distinctive Arab-Norman  is seen in the Royal Palaces. The chapel’s vaulted wooden roof is carved and painted in style, while the cupola and upper walls are covered with mosaics executed by Greek workmen from Constantinople (now Istanbul). Palermo Cathedral was founded in 1185 and contains additions from the 14th, 15th, and subsequent centuries. It houses the tombs of Roger II and the Holy Roman emperors Henry VI and Frederick II. From the same period date the Norman-Byzantine churches of San Cataldo (11th century) and Santo Giovanni degli Eremiti (1132), which are topped by small red cupolas. The mosaics in the church of the Martorana were executed in 1143–51. Several country palaces around the city, such as the Cuba and the Zisa, date from the Norman period, while the Sclafani and Chiaramonte palaces were built in the 14th century. Palermo’s Regional Archaeological Museum has one of Italy’s richest collections of ancient Etruscan and Greek art objectsIn 1860 Giuseppe Gribaldi  seized Palermo, which the following year joined the united kingdom of Italy. The city was severely bombed in July 1943, when it was taken by Allied troops. Parts of old Palermo, where buildings were destroyed during world war two remained unrestored into the 1990s.

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