Thursday, April 04, 2013


In Palermo Province, nestling in the Madonie at 800 metres above sea level, is the village of Gibilmanna and on Sunday a friend and I joined a trip organised by those nice people at La Terra to visit it.  

The Sanctuary of Gibilmanna is its main attraction and the original building is said to have been part of a monastery founded by Gregorio Magno [Gregory the Great] prior to his becoming Pope in 590. After the Saracen conquest of Sicily in 878 the monastery was abandoned but hermits continuued to care for the church.  Under the Normans, many churches were restored and in 1535 the Cappuccini took over the care of the church.  Brother Sebastiano Majo da Gratteri founded the convent on the site in the same year and the present church structure dates from 1623. Among the goods received by the new church from the old one was a statue of the Madonna commissioned by the Capuchin hermit Giuliano de Placia di Miselmeri in 1533.  It is thought to have been sculpted by Antonello Gagini or a member of his artistic family. The altar is a later work by Baldassarre Pampillonia and dates from around 1684.

The church also has this Assunzione, by an unknown artist, above the main altar.  It was given to the Sanctuary in 1623:

Next to the Sanctuary is a folk museum which also contains ecclesiastical objects. Looking at richly embroidered vestments is not really my thing so I concentrated on the items from everyday life and tried to imagine the people who used them:

As many of you will know, I love Sicilian carts and was glad to realise, when I looked at its sides, that the one above had had its moments of glory:

More artwork from a cart:

I like pestles and mortars too!

Oops - what's a mad Welshwoman doing here?

These instruments were used for cutting the Communion bread. They came with very precise instructions:

Local heel bar?

Gibilmanna, then, is well worth a visit.  Who can guess where we went in the afternoon?


Whispering Walls said...

By the look of your clothes, it doesn't appear to be very warm over there. Snowflakes here today...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hello, WW. It's odd weather at the moment - 20 C one day and cold the next. Hope it warms up for you!

Lee said...

Thanks for sharing all of these wonderful photos with us, Pat. :)

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

My pleasure, Lee.


View My Stats