Palermo as a historic city in Southern Italy has a huge architectural heritage and is being known for its Norman buildings. More, city is known for its rich cultural heritage including the history, culture, architecture and gastronomy. Some of the most noted buildings and sites of architectural excellence in Palermo lies at:
• Palermo Cathedral: It is the city’s primary cathedral and main church. It is revered as city’s primary cathedral and main church. It is there featured by the presence of various architectural styles. It had undergone through out its existence under long history of additions, alterations and restoration and the most recent renovation occurred at in the 18th century.
• San Giovanni degli Eremiti: Known as to be the church of the St. John of the Hermits is located close to the Palazzo dei Normanni. The church is popular for its red domes that clearly indicate the Arab Influene at the period of construction of the church in the 12th century.
• Chiesa della Martorana: This is also known to be as Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio that is (Saint Mary of the Admiral), is under the control of the next door church of San Cataldo and look towards the Piazza Bellini in central Palermo. This particular church was constructed in the form of compact cross-in-square, the Greek cross plan; it is a common to south Indian and Sicilian variation on the standard middle Byzantine church type. The three apses in the east adjoin directly on the naos, instead of being separated by an additional bay, as was usual in contemporary Byzantine architecture in the Balkans and Asia Minor. The campanile is richly decorated with three orders of arches and lodges with mullioned windows, still works as the main entrance to the church.
• San Cataldo: This is a church building located at the central Piazza Bellini. It is a most noted example of the Norman architecture. The church is annexed to that of Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio.
• Santa Maria della Catena church was constructed in 1490–1520 and was designed by Matteo Carnilivari. It derived its name from the presence on one of the walls, of a chain.
• Santa Teresa alla Kalsa got its name from Al-Khalisa, an Arab term that is known as the elected. The church, made in 1686–1706 over the former emir’s residence, is one of the most noted and popular example of the Sicilian Baroque. It is a single, airy nave having stucco decorations from about the early 18th century.
• Santa Maria dello Spasimo was constructed in 1506 and was later on changed into a hospital. For this church the Raphael has painted his famous Sicilia’s Spasimo, now as in the Museo del Prado of Madrid. The church presently is open air and thus organizes time to time exhibitions and musical shows.