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of Alexandria

Church and monastery of Palermo

From 1311 to 2014 this monastery was the home of many cloistered nuns of the dominican order.

Since 2017 it is possible to visit both the monastery and church as a museum.

Inside the monastery there's the bakery, where people can buy cakes and pastries realized with the old nun's recipes.


open every day

from 10,00 am to 6,00 pm

last entry 5:15 pm

a causa dei lavori di ristrutturazione per l'abbattimento delle barriere architettoniche, l'ingresso della chiesa, del Monastero e della dolceria si trovano su piazza pretoria.

The Sites



Saint Catherine of alexandria


Saint Catherine of alexandria

She was a martyr of the III-IV century who lived in Egypt. She's represented according to the traditional iconography with the crown, a symbol of royalty; the palm, symbol of martyrdom and the wheel, symbol of the torture she suffered. Catherine embodies the ideal of the virgin consecrated to Christ (mystical wedding, check "Legend of Iacopo da Varrazze"). The cult of Catherine spread in Sicily during the Spanish domination. The monastery possessed a polyptych in which Catherine was represented along with other saints, but next to the traditional symbols was represented the disk with the seven liberal arts. Today the polyptych is exhibited at the Abatellis museum. 

According to tradition, Catherine was a beautiful young Egyptian and the Golden Legend specifies that she was the daughter of King Costa, who left her orphan when she was very young. She was educated since childhood in the liberal arts. Caterina was asked in marriage by many important men, but she had in a dream the vision of Holy Mary with Jesus as a child in her arms, who put a ring on her finger making her his bride, and for this reason she was taken as a model to follow for the nuns.


The anniversary of St. Catherine of Alexandria falls

on November 25th.

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