Castello della Zisa

Piazza Zisa

On Palermo’s western side, the Zisa Castle was built in the 12th century by Arab craftsmen as a summer retreat for King William I of Sicily. It’s now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with handsome windows overlooking the gardens. The main hall, called the Fountain Room, has a distinctive Arabic-style vaulted ceiling with muqarnas—adornments that resemble honeycombs. The upstairs rooms hold a range of artifacts, including Anna’s Tombstone, a grave marker whose inscription is repeated in four languages: Hebrew, Latin, Greek and Arabic.

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