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“Pic of the Week”, April 7, 2023: Porta Nuova, Palermo

00 Porta Nuova, Palermo

This tall and impressive gate was built in the 15th century at a time when Palermo was surrounded by a city wall.  The gate was called “Porta dell’Aquila” (Gate of the Eagle) but the people of Palermo called it “Porta Nuova” (“New Gate“), and that name has stuck.  The gate was reconstructed in the 16th century to honor Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s conquest of Tunis from the Ottoman Empire.  The gate was destroyed by a fire caused when lightening exploded a gunpowder store in the upper levels in 1667; an exact copy was reconstructed within 2 years.

Porta Nuova is close to two of Palermo’s most popular attractions, Palazzo dei Normanni and Capella Palatina, but you need to look around a little to find it.

The gate’s facade facing Independence Square has four large supports carved with figures of Moors defeated by Charles V.  The inside of the arch is covered with victory-associated decoration.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge photos)

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