Palazzo Ajutamicristo

Palazzo Ajutamicristo. Copyright Manifesta. Photo by Cave Studio

Palazzo Ajutamicristo
via Garibaldi, 23

Palazzo Ajutamicristo is named after Guglielmo Ajutamicristo, baron of Misilmeri and Calatafimi, who commissioned its construction in the XV century with the aim of ensuring the control of the grain trade. In 1490 the Baron called upon the services of Matteo Carnilivari, designer of Palazzo Abatellis and the Church of Santa Maria della Catena. However the construction of the building was interrupted as early as 1495 due to financial constraints. Nevertheless, throughout the centuries, the palace has hosted illustrious visitors, such as Queen Giovanna, wife of King Don Ferrante of Naples, the Emperor Charles V, and Don Giovanni of Austria, brother of King Philip II.
After the seventeenth-century, the new owners, the Moncada princes of Paternò, commissioned changes to the palace. It now reflects Gothic-Catalan architecture with baroque balconies and portal, and a double-internal loggia with a large garden once home to the statue of the Sea Horse, now displayed in Piazza S. Spirito. In the 19th century, the Moncada’s sold the Palazzo Ajutamicristo to the Calefati of Canalotti and Tasca d’Almerita families. The Calefati still owns half the building, whilst the other half has been bought by the Region of Sicily.
In the polycentric arch portal of the original entrance, it is still possible to admire the coat-of-arms of the Ajutamicristo family.

Palazzo Ajutamicristo is part of the section Out Of Control Room of The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence, and hosts works by James Bridle, Tania Bruguera, John Gerrard, Filippo Minelli, Lydia Ourahmane, Trevor Paglen, Peng! Collective, Rayyane Tabet, and Richard Vijgen.