Friday, February 13, 2015

Aug 2013: The Marzipan Church – Frutta di Martorana…

 photo 180-IMG_5520_zps5b84364b.jpg

here’s the next church. Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio

 photo 068-IMG_5184_zps609d7af5.jpg 

the bell tower is fantastically baroque. There used to be a dome but it fell off in the 1726 earthquake, don't forget this lies in the volcanic zone…

  photo 103-IMG_5290_zpsf28f6771.jpg 

fairly simple entrance

 photo 105-IMG_5297_zps1ba956ef.jpg

and then there is an explosion of colours. Absolutely amazing.

 photo 107-IMG_5302_zps0a8bab40.jpg  photo 108-IMG_5305_zps3ef6a844.jpg photo 109-IMG_5308_zps84e76fa8.jpg

the ceilings and walls are covered with paintings and frescos.





 photo 110-IMG_5310_zpsc1789b10.jpg  photo 111-IMG_5313_zpsec49c961.jpg

 photo 113-IMG_5319_zps8055983d.jpg  photo 116-IMG_5328_zpsb9091426.jpg 

the ceilings are covered with gold and paintings in a strangely orthodox style…but this is the Med, so intermixing of cultures has happened for multiple centuries.

 photo 112-IMG_5316_zps4da6b163.jpg 

some marble columns…

 photo 119-IMG_5338_zps0494286a.jpg photo 126-IMG_5359_zps19fca2d7.jpg photo 130-IMG_5370_zps37e353cd.jpg photo 132-IMG_5377_zps880a098f.jpg

the altar has this large fresco on top. and surrounding it are a whole bunch of exquisite statues.

 photo 133-IMG_5379_zps3d235bd6.jpg

with some lovely lovely marble, red porphyry and other stones inset in lovely mosaics.

 photo 128-IMG_5364_zps14ba8bc4.jpg  photo 129-IMG_5368_zps360b1a17.jpg 

Its baroque madness. 

 photo 120-IMG_5341_zpsb4470a0d.jpg photo 121-IMG_5344_zps8342f734.jpg photo 122-IMG_5347_zpse1581735.jpg  photo 123-IMG_5350_zpsda74c588.jpg photo 125-IMG_5356_zpsb250fa5a.jpg

the side walls are covered with these lovely inlaid marble panels and statues.

 photo 124-IMG_5352_zps3920d495.jpg

I wasn't clear what these panels were there for.

 photo 127-IMG_5363_zps6021098f.jpg 

lovely little dome on top of the altar.

 photo 135-IMG_5386_zps99c0c0a4.jpg 

Christ Pantocrator surrounded by angels.

 photo 136-IMG_5388_zps8bb54bb5.jpg  photo 138-IMG_5394_zps60f7618a.jpg photo 139-IMG_5397_zpsfd7333e3.jpg photo 140-IMG_5401_zpsc52538e6.jpg photo 137-IMG_5391_zpsa1db5274.jpg

The front part of the ceiling is this amazing gold background and enamel type of work with various saints and angels.

 photo 141-IMG_5404_zpsff0e7feb.jpg photo 142-IMG_5407_zps07eb931e.jpg  photo 143-IMG_5410_zpseab21e32.jpg photo 144-IMG_5413_zps107855d8.jpg photo 145-IMG_5416_zps42dab0bb.jpg photo 148-IMG_5425_zps30afb8f4.jpg  photo 149-IMG_5428_zpsa0a8fe44.jpg  photo 147-IMG_5422_zps9617e134.jpg

 photo 161-IMG_5464_zps37d839f9.jpg But as I look back at the back of the church, there is a little gold plated balcony and the paintings are clearly from another age, a later age, with more of a medieval European theme. explosion of colours.

  photo 162-IMG_5468_zpsfd4963a3.jpg

these hoisting poles poke out…not quite sure what they are for.

 photo 150-IMG_5431_zps00fbf6d6.jpg 

Pietre dure, that’s what this kind of work is called, inlaying marble inside marble…this is very expensive, very slow, very amazing work. a small table can set you back thousands of dollars with a simple geometric pattern, and here we are talking about giant tablets…

 photo 151-IMG_5434_zps52bbc049.jpg 

here is the only known portrait of Roger II being crowned.

 photo 152-IMG_5436_zps4bc65941.jpg  photo 153-IMG_5440_zpsbb2b3ecd.jpg

the door is richly carved

 photo 157-IMG_5451_zpsbe6c1d53.jpg 

what is this? a font? pulpit? a vase?

 photo 160-IMG_5461_zpsfa28dbab.jpg 

absolutely brilliant church, the colours are extraordinary.

 photo 165-IMG_5476_zps97509558.jpg  photo 167-IMG_5481_zpsa9d299df.jpg

And then this..what on earth are arabic versus doing on these columns? These call out to God, in the name of God, the Merciful, the Beneficent…and its to Allah.


 photo 168-IMG_5485_zps8615f483.jpg

the panel around the column just below the gilded Corinthian top is clearly Arabic as well.

 photo 166-IMG_5478_zpsb8c669d1.jpg

but they also have these crosses chiselled into them.

 photo 169-IMG_5488_zps2729e3bb.jpg   

I come out of the church…the bell tower exit as I mentioned is brutally simple.

 photo 173-IMG_5500_zps3d1ffff6.jpg  photo 175-IMG_5506_zpsd10e4f78.jpg

the fantastically Baroque facade of the church.

 photo 174-IMG_5502_zps3c89d86b.jpg 

the bell tower looks a bit sad without the dome, no?

 photo 176-IMG_5508_zps20ab953a.jpg

and two lovely mangy cats enjoying a bite to eat.

So there’s a story about this church, the lady who founded the nearby Benedictine convent was Eloisa Della Martorana and she used to decorate the church with handmade marzipan fruit. Its therefore now Palermo’s most famous delicacies..Frutta di Martorana.        

No comments: