La Cataldo, Palermo

Known for its distinctive red domes, the small Chiesa di San Cataldo is a 12th-century Norman church standing next door to La Martorana in Palermo, Sicily.


History of La Cataldo

The church of San Cataldo was founded by Maio of Bari, chancellor to William I, during the Norman occupation in 1154. After Maio died in 1160, the interior was never completed.

The church has belonged to the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre since 1937.

What to See at La Cataldo

The exterior of this small church looks like a squat stone box with small arched openings. It is topped by its most striking feature: a row of three Saracen-style, bulbous, red "golfball" domes.

To see inside the church (which is worthwhile), ask for the key from a custodian sitting at a tiny table to your right as you enter La Martorana next door.

The austere stone interior, with bare walls and three petite stone cupolas over the nave, evokes a strong sense of the Middle Ages. Aside from the carved capitals, the only decoration is the fine mosaic tilework on the floor.

Quick Facts on La Cataldo

Site Information
Names:Chiesa di San Cataldo · La Cataldo
Dedication: St. Cataldo
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:38.114800° N, 13.362500° E
Address:Piazza Bellini 3
Palermo, Italy
Hours:Tue-Fri 9am-5pm; Sat-Sun 9am-1pm
Lodging:View hotels near La Cataldo
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.


  1. Chiesa della Martorana/San Cataldo - Frommer's Sicily
  2. San Cataldo - Fodor's Sicily
  3. The Rough Guide to Italy 7

More Information

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© Cate Fuller
© Erik Ogan
© Erik Ogan
© Cate Fuller

Map of La Cataldo, Palermo

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