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International Week of Football Sicily, 2011

Fondazione Federico II






 

Palazzo dei Normanni


Il Palazzo Reale o dei Normanni di Palermo was constructed on the highest part of the city, above a Punic installation discovered in 1984 (located in the section under the Sala Duca di Montalto).

During the Arab domination, the first nucleus was built between the rivers Kemonia and Papireto with characteristics which were typically defensive and which is the reason of its name “Qasr”, a word which in Arabic indicates more than a castle, but also a fortress for military assignments. With the arrival of the Normans to Palermo in 1072, the reconstruction and amplification of the city began, work which allowed the transformation from fortress to Palazzo Reale and nevralgic center of complicated events that, in 1130, following the crowning of Ruggero II di Altavilla (the first Norman King of Sicily) conducted to the construction of the marvellous Cappella Palatina.
Four towers characterized the main nucleus of the Palazzo dei Normanni , inside of which there could be a workshop and a textile laboratory (tiraz); to which the courts, first of Ruggero II and later of Guglielmo I (il Malo) and of Guglielmo II (il Bono), succeeded on the miracle of joining cultures deeply different.
Federico II di Svevia, heir of  Enrico VI Hohenstaufen and Costanza di Altavilla, continued the political point of view of his grandfather Ruggero II,  even if it happened when he was very young, he organized the administrative  activities, as well as the cultural aspects with the meetings of the Scuola Poetica Siciliana.
After a period of forgetfulness, characterized during the Angevin and Aragonese domination, the Palazzo Reale was relaunched  from the politics of the Spanish viceroys in the second period of the XVI century, and therefore were constituted new architectonic elements with military and representative typology, consistent with the new organizational needs (among which the two main courtyards, della Fontana del 1584 e Maqueda del 1600).
The Bourbons period gave a cue for the completement of the “Palazzo” and in particular to the new decorations in the Sala d'Ercole, today home of the Assemblea Regionale Siciliana.