The history of the Church of Sant'Antonio Abate, inside the Steri, is closely linked to the events of the Chiaramonte, the powerful family of Sicilian feudal lords who, in the middle of the 14th century, imposed their dominion on a great part of the island.
It was Manfredi I who wanted to build the little church, placed side by side to the Steri, dedicating it to Saint Anthony Abbot, whose devotes were the crusaders coming back from Holy Lands. But the reason of the foundation was probably an ex voto.
A simple yet elegant chapel, with severity of forms recalling the original Gothic for the proportions of the plan, doors and windows. The lords of the Steri and few dignitaries admitted, attended here to the functions, entering through a corridor no longer existing. Everything took place in an extremely reserved atmosphere.
The building endured renovations over the centuries and has been deprived of its original decorative apparatus. In the fresco of the apse is represented God the Father Almighty, unfortunately without the face. To the sides of the image of God there are two crowds of angels. Of particular interest, is the discovery during the restoration works, of a face of Christ of particular artistic value, because similar to the one portrayed on a roof beam of the "Sala Magna" of the Steri.
The church, now deconsecrated, has its structure perfectly intact. It's a little jewel of Gothic art for the severity of its lines and the admirable architectural purity.
Monumental complex of the Steri
Piazza Marina, 59 - Palermo
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