Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici (Palace of the Seminary of the Clerics) is a Baroque palace in Catania, located across the Piazza Duomo from the Palazzo degli Elefanti, near the Cathedral of Sant’Agata.
During the Aragonese period, on the site of the present palace, there was the ancient structure of the Bishop’s Palace.
In 1572, the archbishop Antonio Faraone founded the seminary of the clerics, and some rooms of the palace were reserved for this institution. Beginning with 1614, Bonaventura Secusio, Bishop of Catania between 1609 and 1618, established the seminary headquarters in the building.
On May 29, 1647, during the anti-Spanish revolt of Catania, the palace was severely damaged.
In 1693, the building was completely destroyed by the earthquake of the Val di Noto. In the first decades of the 18th century, the palace was rebuilt by the architect Alonzo di Benedetto, and subsequently enlarged in 1757 by Francesco Battaglia.
In 1866, the architect Mario Di Stefano further expanded the structure, by building the second floor.
Beginning with 1943, due to the Second World War, the seminarians left the building, which was later damaged by bombing. In 1944, the palace was acquired by the Municipality of Catania, and the offices of the mayor, the municipal council and the police were housed within.
Today, the palace houses the Diocesan Museum and the municipal financial offices.
The facade of the palace is made of rusticated inserts, in Ispica white stone, on a dark plaster made of volcanic sand. Noteworthy are the large windows of the facade, surmounted by beautiful tympana, and the main portal, embellished with intricate decorations.
HOW TO GET THERE
Palazzo del Seminario dei Chierici is located about 1.4 kilometers from the Catania Centrale railway station. The closest bus stop is only a few meters away, in Via Garibaldi 1, on the bus Lines 503, 504M, 830, 902 and 932.