Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti in Palermo
The church, now deconsecrated, is part of the Arab-Norman Palermo route and the Cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale UNESCO World Heritage.
It was founded by Roger II in 1142, during the most glorious years of the Norman rule, and the annexed monastery was the wealthiest Sicilian convent.
It is very small and has no elements of particular importance except traces of tiles, mosaics and frescoes and the stalactite ceiling of the mosque on which it was built.
The most fascinating part is the outside of the building. First of all, its five red domes are striking, and are a characteristic element of several Arab-Norman buildings. Then there is the garden: the building is immersed in greenery and the colours of citrus trees, agaves, bougainvilleas, roses, pomegranates and tall flowering bushes. The lush plants climb the walls, taking over the white columns of the small cloister and amazing people with their fragrance. It is one of the most characteristic monuments of Norman Palermo, and is often chosen as a symbol of the city.