The Angevin civilization in Sicily
The Angevin civilization represents a very important historical period for Sicily as it marked a cultural and political turning point for the island. After the end of the Swabian dynasty, the Kingdom of Sicily came under the control of the Angevins, a French dynasty that ruled from 1266 to 1282. The arrival of the Angevins in Sicily was a crucial event for the island, which underwent a series of significant changes in terms of social, economic, and political organization. In particular, the Angevins promoted a policy of reforms and innovation, seeking to modernize public administration and promote the development of agriculture, craftsmanship, and commerce.
Moreover, during the Angevin period, Sicily experienced a phase of intense cultural and artistic activity, which saw the birth of numerous works of art and important monuments, such as the Palermo Cathedral and the Ursino Castle in Catania.
Although the Angevin period was relatively short, the French dynasty left an indelible mark on the history and culture of Sicily, contributing significantly to the formation of the island's identity and its political and economic evolution over the centuries.
If you visit Sicily, do not miss the opportunity to discover the monuments and works of art from this historical period, which represent an extraordinary testimony to the grandeur of the Angevin civilization and its influence on the culture and history of the island.
Here is a list of the main attractions that describe the Angevin civilization in Sicily, with a description, opening hours, and prices:
Ursino Castle, Catania: Built in the 13th century, the castle was the residence of the Angevin sovereigns in Sicily. Today it houses the Civic Museum, where you can admire collections of medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art. Opening hours: every day except Monday, from 9:00 to 19:00. Price: €8.00.
Lombardy Castle, Enna: Built in the 13th century, the castle was one of the main Angevin fortresses in Sicily. Today it houses the Regional Archaeological Museum, where you can admire archaeological finds from prehistory to the Byzantine period. Opening hours: every day except Monday, from 9:00 to 19:00. Price: €6.00.
Norman Palace, Palermo: Built in the 9th century as an Arab fortress, the palace was later expanded and restored by the Angevins. Today it houses the Sicilian Parliament, and some parts of the palace are open to visitors, such as the Palatine Chapel, the Hall of Winds, and the Hercules Room. Opening hours: every day, from 8:15 to 17:00. Price: €12.00.
Church of St. Francis of Assisi to the Immaculate, Palermo: Built in the 13th century in Catalan-Gothic style, the church was expanded and enriched by the Angevins. Inside there are valuable works of art, including an 18th-century nativity scene and the triptych by Francesco Laurana. Opening hours: every day, from 9:00 to 18:00. Price: free.
Messina Cathedral: Built in the 12th century and expanded by the Angevins in the 14th century, the cathedral is one of the most important monuments of the city. Inside there are valuable works of art, including a polyptych by Antonello da Messina and a mosaic of Christ Pantocrator. Opening hours: every day, from 8:00 to 12:00 and from 16:00 to 20:00. Price: free.
6. Venus Castle, Erice: Built in the 13th century by the Arabs, the castle was expanded by the Angevins in the 14th century. Now in ruins, the castle offers panoramic views of the city of Erice and the surrounding coast. Opening hours: every day, 24 hours a day. Price: € 2,5 with Erice Card.
7. Cathedral of Catania: Built in the 12th century and expanded by the Angevins in the 14th century, the cathedral is an important monument of the city. Inside there are valuable works of art.
In conclusion, the Angevin civilization has left a significant imprint on the history and culture of Sicily. The Angevins brought with them a strong sense of order and organization, improving the infrastructure and strengthening the island's economy. Moreover, they promoted the development of art and architecture, creating masterpieces such as the Ursino Castle and the Cathedral of Catania.
The Angevin presence in Sicily lasted just over a century, but it left a lasting legacy. The culture and traditions introduced by the Angevins influenced Sicilian society for many years to come. Sicily, like other Italian regions, has been shaped by various cultural influences throughout its history, and the Angevin civilization is just one of the many that have contributed to making this region unique and fascinating.