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Palazzo Duchi Di Santo Stefano description and photos - Italy: Taormina (Sicily). Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Palazzo Duchi Di Santo Stefano.
Photo and description
Palazzo Duca di San Stefano is an old building in Taormina, built in the 14th century in the Gothic-Catalan style with an admixture of Arab-Norman elements. The palace, which looks more like a fortress, consists of three floors, each of which is decorated with wonderful vaulted windows with two wings. The lower floor can be accessed through an arched passage, while the second floor is notable for its system of walkways. Today, the Palazzo houses the headquarters of the Mazzullo Foundation, and also houses many works of Sicilian art.
The square shape of the palace, its massiveness, location and walls with loopholes make it look like a fortress and make you think that it was built during the Norman rule in Sicily. However, it is not. In this 14th century building near the Porta Catania gate, Inhabited by the noble family of De Spuches, which had Spanish roots. Its members were the dukes of Santo Stefano di Brifa and the princes of Galati, two towns located on the Ionian coast. A beautiful garden is laid out in front of the facade of the palace, facing north and east. Of course, Palazzo Duca di San Stefano is one of the masterpieces of Sicilian Gothic art, in which the features of the Arab and Norman architectural styles have merged.
Echoes of the Arab era can be seen in the decoration of the upper part of the palace: a wide frieze runs along the eastern and northern facades, ornately decorated with volcanic lava and diamond-shaped inlays of white Syracuse stone. Norman influence is expressed in the square layout of the building in the form of a tower and in what resembles the forked battlements of a fortress wall.
The palazzo consists of three overlapping sections. The entrance to the first floor is a pointed arch built from square blocks of black basalt and white granite. The second floor was accessed via suspension walkways and moving stairs through a small door, which can still be seen today between two vaulted windows. The internal staircase, made of wood, was built during the restoration of the building. Finally, on the third floor, there are four magnificent windows, undeniably made in the Gothic style: two facing east, the other two facing north. All four windows are very skillfully made - they have round rosette windows, small three-lobed arches and a triple cordon framing the arch. In the center of the first floor there is a pink granite column - it is believed that it was once installed in an ancient Greek temple. In the garden, facing the majestic facades, you can see a well for collecting rainwater, which was used for the needs of the inhabitants of the palace.
In 1964, the municipality of Taormina bought the Palazzo Duca di San Stefano from Vincenzo De Spuchez, a young descendant of a noble family who lived in Palermo, for 64 million lire. Today, this historic building houses the Mazzullo Foundation, run by a talented sculptor whose creations can be seen inside.
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Topic: Palazzo Duchi Di Santo Stefano description and photos - Italy: Taormina (Sicily).