Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus), Palermo

Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus), Palermo (must see)

Jesuits arrived in Palermo in 1549. After settling in, they began to build. They had their own Jesuit architect, Giovanni Tristano. Following his design, they built one of the most important Baroque churches in Sicily, Church of Jesus.

Tristano's design required a single nave, transepts and side chapels. Early in the 17th century this was changed by architect Natale Masuccio. Natale favored something more sumptuous. He removed the chapel walls and added two more naves. When this was finished in 1636, the church was consecrated.

In 1943, during an air raid, a bomb exploded and crushed the church dome. The adjacent walls were mostly destroyed along with frescoes and paintings.

Some of the interior survived. Marble bas-reliefs showing the Adoration of the Shepards and the Adoration of the Magi by Gioacchino Vitagliano (1719-21) remain intact. A fresco of the Adoration of the Magi by Antonino Grano and a relief of the Glory of Saint Luke by Ignazio Marabitti also lived after the bomb.

The facade has three portals in the lower part. Above are niches with statues of Ignatius Loyola, a Madonna and Child and Francis Xavier. The nave is 237 feet long, 140 feet wide and 230 feet high. It is decorated with frescoes. The pillars are covered with marble reliefs and mosaics. The rebuilt church has a double dome.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Palermo. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

Download The GPSmyCity App

Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus) on Map

Sight Name: Chiesa del Gesù (Church of Jesus)
Sight Location: Palermo, Italy (See walking tours in Palermo)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Palermo, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Palermo

Create Your Own Walk in Palermo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Palermo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Religious Buildings

Historical Religious Buildings

Religion has always played an important role in the lives of the Italians – and the Sicilians are no exception. Thus, it is little wonder that the main city of the island, Palermo, boasts a plethora of religious buildings. The collection of historical churches found here ranges from the Arab-Norman-Byzantine to the Medieval, Gothic, Baroque and the Renaissance.

In the course of history, many...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Palermo Introduction Walking Tour

Palermo Introduction Walking Tour

Around 8,000 BC, people called Sicani drew pictures in a cave outside Palermo. The scene shows a ritual sacrifice in the theatre. Was it a paleolithic foreshadowing of the temples, churches, and cathedrals to come?

The Sicani were succeeded by the Phoenicians. They made a settlement called Ziz which eventually became Palermo. But first, the Greeks, followed by the Carthaginians, followed by the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Palaces of Palermo

Palaces of Palermo

For centuries, Sicilian capital Palermo has been a focal point for the construction of noble dwellings and palaces. The latter were and still are a fine manifestation of the historical life in the region. They are a few hundred of them still in place, ranging chronologically from the medieval period to the first decades of the 20th century, and comprising an impressive collection of architectural...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles