Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo
piazza Carlo Ventimiglia, 13
Built upon the input of the Giacomo Basilicò jurist, in 1509, to celebrate the pain of the Madonna, the church of Santa Maria dello Spasimo is one of the most evocative of all of Sicily and distinguished by a truly unique detail: it does not have a roof. The construction, which should have been completed in 6 years, took much longer than expected and the funds to support it ran short. In 1537 the danger of a possible Turkish invasion alarmed the city and inhabitants of Palermo, which immediately ran for cover and reinforced the fortifications and defence routes. The Spasimo, which was right near the entrance to the city, had to undergo changes and the monks were forced to find shelter elsewhere. In the years to follow the church, now deconsecrated, was used in various ways: from 1582 as a theater for shows; since 1624, due to the plague epidemic that struck Palermo, as a lazaretto; since 1825 as a hospice; since 1855 as a hospital; after the Second World War as a deposit of works of art from other sites. The church remained in a state of neglect until 1988, and after a lengthy restoration, in 1995 it was returned to the public. Today the entire complex is home to the Brass, Palermo Jazz school.
Chiesa di Santa Maria dello Spasimo is part of the section Garden of Flows of The Planetary Garden. Cultivating Coexistence and hosts an installation by Cooking Sections part of the project What is above is what is below.