S. Giovanni degli Eremiti

Probably between 1143 and 1148

    This church has an attached convent and a small cloister. It rises over a previous Byzantine monastery (Gregorian - of S. Ermete) and an Arabic structure (maybe a mosque). It was built to the wish of Ruggero II and it has a ‘crux commissa’ plan (T shaped or St. Anthony’s cross) with three apses: of which two are enclosed and one projects towards the exterior. Structurally it is made by five covered centred modules with the characteristic cupolas, differentiated by diameter and height on the basis of their functional location. Three transverse modules, one of which (the northern one) is the characteristic bell tower: a Latin element interpreted in Byzantine key. The small harmonious cloister is of great value, with the little paired columns and the lancet splayed arches ‘a rincassi’. The pictures show the north-east side of the building and some views of the cloister and also a detail of the interior with the cupola and the corner joints with splayed niches.

Vittorio Noto

Guido Di Stefano, "Monumenti della Sicilia Normanna", Palermo  1979

Melo Minnella Palermo