The 10 main monuments of Trapani
On a hypothetical trip to Sicily, Trapani is certainly a must. It is a city famous for the beauty of the sea it overlooks, for the nature that surrounds it and also for the importance of the monuments it offers between the historic center and other city areas.
A series of buildings, including churches, palaces, museums and other structures, which give an idea of the importance of Trapani on a historical and artistic level. Let’s discover 10 of the most important monuments of the city.
Torre di Ligny
We are certainly talking about a particular structure and, for this reason, one of the most interesting to see when you arrive in Trapani. It was built in 1671 by the architect Carlos de Grunenberg on the orders of Don Claudio La Moraldo, prince of Ligny and viceroy of the Kingdom of Sicily.
For several centuries it was a Spanish watchtower, while today it remains a cornerstone of the city. It stands on the western tip of Trapani and currently houses a collection of archaeological departments.
Also known as “Torre Peliade” or “Castle of the Sea”, it stands on a small island west of the port of Trapani. Its construction dates back to the First Punic War, by the hand of Amilcare Barca. After the Roman conquest it was abandoned, only to be rebuilt in medieval times by the Aragonese. During the reign of Charles V, it became a fortification aimed at defending the city from the incursions of the barbarians.
Later, it was transformed into a prison by the Bourbons and then hosted the Sicilian patriots of the Risorgimento.
Church of Collegio dei Gesuiti
Among the most important religious buildings in Trapani, being one of the few examples of Baroque art in the city. As a complex it also includes the college and convent, designed by the architect Natale Masuccio.
Among the architectural beauties that can be admired inside the building, the Chapel of St. Ignatius stands out, built in 1714.
Cathedral of San Lorenzo
It is located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street in the historic center of Trapani. Built around 1300, it has undergone various changes over the years before reaching its current form.
In 1844, with the election of Trapani as a bishopric, it became the city’s cathedral. Inside there is the statue of “The Dead Christ” by Giacomo Tartaglia, made with a pink marble that makes it very realistic.
Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Annunziata
It is also called “Borgo Madonna” and represents the most important historical and artistic nucleus which is located outside the walls of the city of Trapani.
Inside it houses the marble statue of the Madonna of Trapani, an object of worship also in other cities of Sicily.
Church of the Purgatory
One of the most famous in the city, it was built in 1688 (although its façade was built between 1712 and 1714, by the Trapani architect Giovanni Biagio Amico). It owes its fame above all to what it keeps inside, that is the famous “Mysteries” (trades). There are twenty statues dating back to 1400, made of wood, canvas and glue and depicting the passion of Christ.
For over 400 years, many visitors have come to this church to watch the procession that takes place on Good Friday.
Fontana del Tritone
It is located in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele, which separates the old part of the city from the more recent one. It was built in 1890, with the aim of paying homage to the birth of the “Dammusi” aqueduct.
In 1951, a bronze statue of the Triton was placed in the center of the fountain, made by the Trapani master Domenico Li Muli. Around the fountain there are palm trees and marble benches.
It can be considered the main villa of the city. It was created shortly after the unification of Italy, opened to the public in 1889 and dedicated to Queen Margherita of Savoy. It is a botanical park of approximately 21,000 square meters, with four entrances and rectangular in shape.
Inside there is a pond with geese, ducks and black and white swans, aviaries with various species of birds, grouse and parrots. Along the main avenue and the streets that wind from it, there are column drums with Doric capitals that are part of the Garibaldi Theater (now destroyed). From the end of the nineteenth century to today, performances of opera music are hosted every summer by the July Musicale Trapanese organization.
Agostino Pepoli Regional Museum
Born in the early 1900s from the private collections of the count whose name it bears, it has been enriched over time with works from various donations. Inside, together with the painting and sculpture collections, the development of the figurative arts in the Trapani area is shown.
Particular attention is paid to the decorative and applied arts, in which the city of Trapani (especially as regards the sector of coral works, gold, silver, majolica and the creation of nativity scenes) has always had a great tradition.
Torre dell’orologio (Clock Tower)
Building that was originally part of the defensive structure of the Carthaginian city, consisting of four watchtowers and four access doors that opened onto a mighty wall. It bears this name due to the recently restored astronomical clock with sun and moon dials.