La fabbrica del complesso ecclesiastico degli Olivetani

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Abstract

The history of this monastery and its church is memorable both for the many events in its foundation and for the various mutations that took place in the following years and centuries. Work began in 1509, approved with the papal bull of Pope Julius II. The monumental complex of Santa Maria dello Spasimo is located in the heart of the District Court, in the Kalsa district, on the edge of what was once the Arab citadel (al-Halisah), thanks to the commitment of Jacopo Basilicò, who wanted to respect the testamentary wills. of his wife to build a church dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows. To celebrate it worthily, Basilicò commissioned the great Raffaello da Urbino, a painting depicting "The First Trip to Calvary", known by all as the "Spasimo di Sicilia", and to Antonello Gagini a magnificent marble altar destined to frame it.Both of these works of art were subject to very troubled events. The initial project, however very ambitious, was never completed, leaving the sumptuous unfinished work.The events concerning the factory of the Spasimo complex are in fact closely connected with the fortification works that were carried out in Palermo starting from 1537.The construction of the Spasimo bastion had upset the entire factory. The damage suffered by the church and the convent of the Spasimo was so important as to induce the fathers to ask to be admitted to the Church of Santo Spirito.The church thus, with the thickening of the walls of the apse and of the transept, emerged imposing inside the bastion, configuring itself as a defensive tower.After the transfer of the Olivetan fathers, the whole complex was used by the senate for profane uses, and in 1582 in the now deconsecrated church, the viceroy Marcantonio Colonna, had the Aminta of Torquato Tasso represented, thus becoming the city's first "public theater". In the middle of the eighteenth century the vault of the central nave collapsed and will never be rebuilt.From 1835 it became a hospice for begging and subsequently, in 1855 the meretricio hospital that was aggregated to the Great Hospital of Palazzo Sclafani, was transferred to the Spasimo premises thus becoming Spasimo hospital, which survived until 1985.At the end of the Second World War, the church was used as a deposit of artistic material from city buildings and churches damaged by bombing, then for years it fell into oblivion and remained practically abandoned until 1988, the year in which a vast work began restoration and restoration of the entire complex, which saw the magnificent abbatial complex restored to public use in 1995.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationVIAE CARITATIS
Pages83-102
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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