The original name of the Magione Church in Palermo is Chiesa della Santissima Trinità. The church was originally owned by a German order of knights. It was built towards the end of the 12th century, although most of the artworks on display are of more recent date. Highlights are the façade and the cloister.
Santissima Trinità or Magione Church Palermo
Address, opening times and admission
Address: Chiesa della Santissima Trinità o Magione – Piazza Magione, 44 – 90133 Palermo. Tel: (+39) 0916170596. Church opening hours: Monday from 15.00 to 18.30; Tuesday to Saturday from 08.45 to 12.00 and from 15.00 to 18.30. Opening hours Sala + Cloister + Chapel: Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 13.30 and from 14.30 to 18.00; Sundays and holidays from 9.30 to 13.30. Entrance fee church: Free. Entrance chapel + cloister: 4 Euro.
History and description
During the Middle Ages, the place where the church was built was on the south side of what was then the city. At that time the area was mostly taken up by vegetable gardens. By the middle of the 12th century, the Sanctae Trinitatis was built. The church was owned by the Teutonic Order, a spiritual order of knights that had been founded during the Third Crusade (1189-1192). The Hofmeister of the order was called Mansio in Italian, which led to the name Chiesa del Magione.
It is one of the last churches in Sicily built during Norman rule.
The German Knights ran the church from 1197 to 1492. After this, the complex was taken away from the order and turned into a commandery. (A commandery was both an administrative section of a medieval military order and the building where that order resided.)
During the 15th century the complex was considerably expanded. Among other things, a number of side chapels were added.
During the Baroque period the walls of the church were covered with a thick layer of plaster, which obscured the original structure. After restoration work in 1875 and in the 20’s of the 20th century, the church has been returned to its original state as best as possible.
What to see
The entrance is formed by a portal built in 1717 near the entrance to the garden.
The interior is Gothic in style, with pointed arches supported by columns.
Most of the artwork in the church was added later.
There is a cloister on the north side of the church. Part of this can still be seen in its original state.
Behind the Baptistry is a Baroque oratory with a marble altar and a 17th century crucifix.