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Petralia Soprana

Description

Petralia Soprana is a town in the province of Palermo of probably Sican or Greek origins. It is mentioned for the firast time in a document of the III century b.C. with the name of Petra and, during the Norman domination, it changed its name in Petralia, in honour to St. Elia, founder of the Order of Barefooted Carmelites. In the feudal period to Petralia's name was added the meaning Soprana to differenziate it from the below area just called Petralia Sottana. The small town was dominated by different aristocratic families, first of all Ventimiglia family from 1258, followed by the Moncada and the Alvarez de Toledo until 1812, when the feudal regime was abolished.
The Church of Saints Pietro and Paolo, realised in the XIV century and altered in the XVIII century, is characterised by a Baroque style portico with coupled columns, beneath which there is a Gothic-Catalan portal. Inside it is possible to admire statues by Antonello Gagini, Giorgio da Milano and Giuliano Mancino and a crux by fra' Umile da Petralia.
We also suggest to visit the Civic Library, rich in XV and XVI century documents, the arch of Porta Seri, a vestige of the boudary walls, the remains of the Norman castle, the Palazzo Municipale (former convent of the Barefooted Carmelites in neo-gothic style), the Church of Collegio di Maria, with XVIII century stuccoes and a XVII century crux, the Church of Santa Maria di Loreto and the Church of Santissimo Salvatore, with a statue from the Gagini's workshop.

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