The Arabic Paradise in Palermo’s outskirt
The Zisa Castle in Palermo during the #italiagrandsketchingtour
After almost one rainy week in Palermo, finally today the sun is back and I felt much better! Knowing already the historical center, I wanted to explore the Castle of the Zisa, that my friend told me to be quite unique. Therefore I took a long walk toward the western part of the city and I arrived to the park over which the Zisa Castle dominates.
The castle was built in the 12th century and it is the perfect crossing between Norman and Arabic cultures. A show that as styles can be combined, so it can happen to populations, respecting each other’s and building on the best of each. This castle is such a unique beauty that it is now included in the UNESCO Arab-Norman World Heritage Site list.
The construction was directed by Arabian craftsmen for king William I of Sicily. It was the summer residence for the Norman kings, as a part of the large hunting resort known as Genoardo, meaning in Arabic “Paradise on Earth”. The Zisa is clearly inspired by Moorish architecture. The name Zisa itself means “dear” or “splendid”. And no word could describe better this place, a paradise in the middle of the city suburbs.
I also found fascinating the idea that the water fountains, that you also can see in the painting and that continue inside the palace, were used as a climate manager while being totally sustainable. I wonder why we don’t look more at the past to build for the future?
What do you think? How many solutions are ready out there and need just to be rediscovered?