San Cataldo: Keeping it Simple


Palermo’s San Cataldo church in Piazza Bellini possesses three remarkable red domes on the outside, yet on the inside, those domes illuminate an elegant, simply designed stone chapel. In contrast to its sister church La Martorana, San Cataldo, which was built around 1160, has never possessed mosaics or other such decoration.

4 Comments Add yours

  1. The dome-building and all the other intricate brickwork, masonry, etc. that goes into these churches you depict here just amaze me no end! And now buildings are just slapped together with little thought for beauty, quality and humanity. Thank you for showing these places and explaining them. It’s a work of love! <3

    1. Yes, this one is particularly beautiful. It’s tiny compared to others, yet its majesty is peerless.

  2. Guy Flaneur says:

    Saint Cataldo was a 7th century Irish saint. His monastery was in Lismore, County Waterford but his apparent desire for a life of solitude saw him venture off to Jerusalem on a pilgrimage.

    On his return home his ship was wrecked off the Italian coast, near the city of Taranto. The people here appear to have encouraged the monk to become their bishop, and he rose to become their archbishop. Some of the miracles claimed in Catald’s name include protecting the city against the plague and floods that, apparently, had occurred in neighbouring areas.

    He is venerated all over Italy, particularly Sicily.

    1. Guy, this is terrific! I was wondering about San Cataldo when I posted this, and made a mental note to learn about him. Thank you for sharing his story!

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