The Gates of Palermo

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The Gates of Palermo

Palermo since ancient times has protected herself from invaders with fortified walls and fortified gates.The gates representing the only entrances to the city. Some gates have disappeared over time, such as Carbone Gate to Cala which was built in the sixteenth century and destroyed in the nineteenth.

The fortified gates still in existance today are:

GATE FELICE (“Happy”) – connecting the Cassaro with the new road that ran outside the walls and along the beach (Foro Italico). It was commissioned by Viceroy Column in 1581 and the Senate of Palermo named this port, Port Felice, in honor of the Viceroy’s wife, Felice Orsini.

GATE OF THE GREEK – This gate is located in the heart of the homonymous square-Kalsa district, between the ramparts of Thunder and Vega and currently fronts the Foro Italico. Originally the square was inhabited by Greek merchants and from this we get the name of the gate and the neighboring church.

ROYAL GATE– (or Gate of Victory or Gate of Santa Teresa) – It is located along what is now Lincoln street and was built in 1784 to replace the existing Gate of Victories whose construction dates back to the period of Arab domination of the city of Palermo. The original name in Arabic was Bab al futùb). The current name, Port Royal, was given by Queen Maria Carolina of Habsburg-Lorraine, wife of King Ferdinand I of Bourbon.

GATE OF TERMINI – Built in 1171, this gate dominated half of what is now Lincoln Street and led to Termini Imerese. In May 1860 Garibaldi and his troops entered Palermo by this gate and at that time it was named, Gate Garibaldi.

VICARI GATE– (also known as the Gate of St. Anthony) is one of the oldest gates of Palermo. The gate was constructed in the seventeenth century and has received several changes over the years. The current structure we owe to the Viceroy, Marcantonio Colonna di Stigliano, who supported reconstruction in 1780 and was opposed to the Gate of Maqueda.

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