San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi


One of oldest Norman churches in Palermo, San Giovanni dei Lebbrosi (St. John of the Lepers) was built in 1071 by Roger I. In the following century (c 1150) a leper hospital was attached to it. Arab craftsman, often employed by the Normans and Swabians to erect their monuments and palaces, took part in its construction. The bell tower, by F. Valenti, was erected during restoration work carried out in 1934. In the garden to the right of the church, which was originally united to it, are the remains of an Arab construction identified as “Iahia’s (John’s) Castle”. The interior of the church is in the basilican style, with a central nave and two aisles divided by columns; it has three apses and is domed.