Over the centuries Palermo was under the control of Roman, Arab and Norman dynasties. While little remains of those bygone times, the influence of middle eastern art and architecture can be seen in its churches. At the time we arrived in Palermo, an intense political campaign was already in progress. One could deduce that simply by looking at the cluttered bill boards. I guess no one bothered to remove earlier posts.
Two churches of significance within the city are the Cathedral and La Martorana. The Cathedral was originally constructed in the 12th century, but has undergone frequent rebuilding. The portal is from the 15th century [top image]; the Baroque dome was added in late 18th century [bottom image].
Originally built in mid-12th century, La Martorana boasts a colorful Baroque interior, decorated with frescoes and mosaics, such as Christ crowning Roger II, a 12th century Norman King of Sicily (top image).
Of distinctly different architecture is the 12th century Benedictine monastery of San Giovanni degli Eremiti (also built by Roger II). Its distinctive 5 domed structure was built by Arab-Norman craftsman. It is surrounded by gardens filled with citrus trees, pomegranate and rose bushes.