Liberty Style Architecture In Palermo

You may be familiar with the term Art Nouveau, a freer architectural style that swept Europe and the Americas at the end of the 19th century into the early 20th century. Well, differently, in Palermo, Art Nouveau is known as “Liberty Style,” and it was championed by architects Giovan Battista, who designed Palermo’s Teatro Massimo opera house, and his son Ernesto who completed his father’s projects upon his death and then some.

Liberty Style is characterized by neo-Arab Norman elements such as Arabesque arches and crenellations (as pictured here on Via Nicolo’ Gallo) as well as floral motifs, patterns, mosaics, and elements of medieval castle design and Spanish panache. Architecture buffs will enjoy identifying Liberty Style buildings throughout Palermo’s west side–along Via Liberta’ as well as in Mondello, the nearby seaside community.

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