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Palazzo Badia Vecchia 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 Badia Vecchia.
Photo and description
The Palazzo Badia Vecchia, which means “old abbey” in Italian, is an ancient building in the Gothic style, built in Taormina in the 14th century. In 1960, it was bought by the city municipality for 12 million lire. After that, restoration work was carried out in it, but soon the building again turned out to be abandoned and left to be torn to pieces by vandals.
Like Palazzo Duca di San Stefano, Badia Vecchia is quite like a fortress, which is not surprising - both buildings were erected as bastions along the city walls, designed to protect the northern part of Taormina. The parapet wall with loopholes at the very top gives the palazzo a particularly austere look. Armando Dilla, an architect from Naples, believes that the name Badia Vecchia was given to the building after how for some time the abbess of the monastery Efimia lived in it, who in the middle of the 14th century was the regent of her younger brother Frederick, King of the Two Sicilies. True, this assumption is still only a theory, albeit very plausible.
In reality, Badia Vecchia was once a monastery. Sacred drawings found at the bottom of a rainwater well are proof of this. Most likely, the drawings were hidden there in order to protect them from the numerous invasions of foreigners that Taormina was subjected to during its long history. In addition, it is believed that all the niches inside were intended for storing icons, and not just pantries.
The Gothic architecture of Badia Vecchia is very similar to the architecture of Palazzo Duca di San Stefano, since both Palazzo were built in the same era - in the 14th century. Traces of Arab and Norman influence are also visible in both buildings. Badia Vecchia consists of three rooms of the same size. A frieze of local volcanic lava and white Syracuse stone adorns the structure, dividing the first and second floors. On it, one next to the other, three magnificent vaulted windows are visible - from a distance they seem to be a single window with six doors. The lancet arches adorning the side windows have one round rosette window each, and there are three of them in the central arch. From above, the facade of Badia Vecchia is decorated with bifurcated battlements, which makes the building look like a fortress.
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Topic: Palazzo Badia Vecchia description and photos - Italy: Taormina (Sicily).