The Baroque Magnificence of Santa Caterina

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Near Palermo’s Quattro Canti is the Church of Santa Caterina, whose modest exterior belies the Baroque magnificence waiting inside.

Construction on the church began in 1566, but the interior decoration dates from the 17th and 18th centuries, when Baroque was at its height, and the Catholic church was encouraging intricate detail and emotional themes.

The artists in charge of the Santa Caterina got the message! The interior of the church is visually overwhelming, almost to the point of farce. Richly colored frescoes spill out across the ceiling, and bright patterns and ornate floral patterns cover the walls, which are themselves made of colored stone. Statues and paintings, including a clever three-dimensional depiction of Jonah and the whale, occupy every spot conceivable, and finding a drab corner might be an impossible task.

The church costs just a couple euros to visit, and is definitely worth a peek inside. The Santa Caterina is one of the most exuberant places of worship we’ve seen during our travels, and definitely the most stunning showcase of the Baroque.

Location on our Palermo Map

Baroque Architecture

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This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Sara

    The photo of the altar is just stunning.

    1. Juergen

      You would have never guessed the inside from the outside of the church. When we walked in we had to sit down first for a moment to catch our breath.

  2. Diane

    As always, I love the way you capture the true essence of a place in your photography. Even though I’ve never been, I feel as though I’m there! The architectural details are what helps to tell the story.

  3. brian

     what a interior of a church just wonderful

  4. Sofia

    Wow this place is amazing! I’m going to Palermo in September and at first I was sad because Mount Etna is closer to Catania but now that I see this post I feel like I made a good decision to go to Palermo instead of Catania!

  5. Joe Kulik

    What an Amazing photo set !!!   I’m sitting here in front of my PC trying to decide what is Blowing My Mind more, the Extreme Beauty of this church, or your Exquisite Photography in capturing it Just SO Well !!!

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