The Chiesa del Gesù in Palermo is also known as the Casa Professa. This Jesuit church is considered the best example of Baroque architecture in the city. Highlights are the Oratorio del Sabato and the museum attached to the church.
Chiesa del Gesù Palermo
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Address: Piazza Casa Professa, 21 – 90134 Palermo. Tel: (+39) 091332213. Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 09:30 to 14:00 (in August until 18:00). During mass the church is not open for tourists. Museum opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm. Closed: Sundays and holidays. Entrance fee: Unknown.
History and description
The Chiesa del Gesù was built by the Jesuits in 1564. In its construction, parts of already existing buildings were used. The dome of the church was completed in 1683. Decorations were gradually added between 1658 and the end of the 19th century.
From 1703, decorations began to be added to the ceilings and vaults. The plasterwork was in the hands of Procopio Serpotta. The frescoes were painted by Antonio Grano.
The design of the facade dates back to the end of the 16th century. In the niches are statues depicting the “Virgin of the Grotto of Jesus,” Saint Ignatius and Saint Francis.
The interior is in the shape of a Latin cross. It consists of three naves. The deep side chapels are connected to each other.
The huge church is, as befits a Baroque church, extraordinarily richly decorated.
What to see
The Oratorio del Sabato is graced by plasterwork by the hand of Procopio Serpotta (1740). The painting on the vault was made by Filippo Randazzo and represents “The Coronation of the Virgin.”
The church also houses a several-story museum. In the rooms dedicated to the “Treasures of the Jesuits” liturgical objects and clothing are displayed, together with antependiums, furniture and silver and coral objects made in the 17th and 18th centuries by artisans in Trapano.