La Martorana, also known as Santa Maria dell'Ammiraglio (Saint Mary of the Admiral), is a church in Palermo (Sicily, Italy). Palermo ( Sicilian: Palermu, Greek: Panormus, al-Madinah during Muslim rule is a historic City in Sicily ( Italian and Sicilian: Sicilia) is an autonomous region of Italy. Italy (Italia officially the Italian Republic, (Repubblica Italiana is located on the Italian Peninsula in Southern Europe, and on the two largest The church is annexed to the next-door church of San Cataldo and overlooks the Piazza Bellini in central Palermo. San Cataldo is a church of the Sicilian city of Palermo, on the central Piazza Bellini
The name Ammiraglio (admiral) derives from the founder of the church, the Greek admiral and principle minister of Roger II of Sicily, George of Antioch. Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία Roger II ( 22 December 1095 &ndash 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his George of Antioch (died 1151 or 1152 was the first true ammiratus ammiratorum, successor of the great Christodulus. The foundation charter of the church, in Greek and Arabic, is preserved and dates to 1143; construction may already have begun at this point. The church had certainly been completed by the death of George in 1151, and he and his wife were interred in the narthex. In 1184 the Arab traveller Ibn Jubayr visited the church, and later devoted a significant portion of his description of Palermo to its praise, describing it as "the most beautiful monument in the world. Ibn Jubayr (1145-1217 ابن جبير) was an geographer, traveler and poet from Al-Andalus Biography Early life Born in " After the Sicilian Vespers of 1282 the island's nobility gathered in the church for a meeting that resulted in the Sicilian crown being offered to Peter III of Aragon. The Sicilian Vespers is the name given to a rebellion in Sicily in 1282 against the rule of the Angevin king Charles I of Naples, who had taken control Peter the Great ( Catalan: Pere el Gran, Spanish: Pedro el Grande; 1239 &ndash 2 November 1285) was the King of Aragon 
In 1193-94, a convent of Benedictine nuns was founded on adjacent property by Eloisa Martorana. In 1433-34, under the rule of King Alfonso of Aragon, this convent absorbed the church, which has since then been commonly known as La Martorana. Alfonso the Magnanimous (also Alphonso; Catalan: Alfons) (1396 &ndash 27 June 1458) was the King of Aragon (as The nuns extensively modified the church between the 16th century and the 18th century, making major changes to the structure and the interior decoration. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system 
The nuns of the Martorana were famous for their moulded marzipan, which they made in the form of various fruits. For the character in the animated internet cartoon see Homestar Runner. Although the convent no longer exists, frutta di Martorana are still one of Palermo's most famous and distinctive foodstuffs. Frutta martorana (also frutta di Martorana) are traditional Marzipan sweets in the form of fruits and vegetables from the province of Palermo, Sicily
In 1935 Benito Mussolini returned the church to the control of Palermo's Greek Orthodox community. Year 1935 ( MCMXXXV) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The Greek Orthodox Church ( Greek: Ἑλληνορθόδοξη Ἐκκλησία Hellēnorthódoxē Ekklēsía) is formed by several autocephalous churches It is still used today for Greek Orthodox services and shares cathedral status with the church of San Demetrio in Piana degli Albanesi. Piana degli Albanesi is an Italian Comune in the Province of Palermo, Sicily.
The original church was built in the form of a compact cross-in-square ("Greek cross plan"), a common south Italian and Sicilian variation on the standard middle Byzantine church type. The term cross-in-square (French église à croix inscrite; German Kreuzkuppelkirche) denotes the dominant architectural form of middle and late Byzantine The three apses in the east adjoin directly on the naos, instead of being separated by an additional bay, as was usual in contemporary Byzantine architecture in the Balkans and Asia Minor.  In the first century of its existence the church was expanded in three distinct phases; first through the addition of a narthex to house the tombs of George of Antioch and his wife; next through the addition of a forehall; and finally through the construction of a centrally-aligned campanile at the west. The narthex of a church is the entrance or lobby area located at the end of the Nave, at the far end from the church's main Altar. A campanile &ndash pronounced /kampaˈnile/ &ndash is especially in Italy, a free-standing Bell tower, often adjacent to a church The campanile, which is richly decorated with three orders of arches and lodges with mullioned windows, still serves as the main entrance to the church. Significant later additions to the church include the Baroque façade which today faces onto the piazza. Baroque art redirects here Please disambiguate such links to Baroque painting, Baroque sculpture, etc In the late 19th century, historically-minded restorers attempted to retain the church to its original state, although many elements of the Baroque modifications remain. 
Certain elements of the original church, in particular its exterior decoration, show the influence of Islamic architecture on the culture of Norman Sicily. A frieze bearing a dedicatory inscription runs along the top of the exterior walls; although its text is in Greek, its architectural form references the Islamic architecture of north Africa.  The recessed niches on the exterior walls are likewise derive from the Islamic architectural tradition. In the interior, a series of wooden beams at the base of the dome bear a painted inscription in Arabic; the text is derived from the Christian liturgy (the Epinikios Hymn and the Great Doxology). The church also boasted an elaborate pair of carved wooden doors, today installed in the south façade of the western extension, which relate strongly to the artistic traditions of Fatimid north Africa.  On account of these "Arabic" elements, the Martorana has been compared with its Palerman contemporary, the Cappella Palatina, which exhibits a similar hybrid of Byzantine and Islamic forms. The Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina is the royal Chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily situated on the ground floor at the center of the Palazzo 
The church is renowned for its spectacular interior, which is dominated by a series of 12th century mosaics executed by Byzantine craftsmen. The mosaics show many iconographic and formal similarities to the roughly contemporary programs in the Cappella Palatina and in Cefalù Cathedral, although they were probably executed by a distinct atelier. The Palatine Chapel (Cappella Palatina is the royal Chapel of the Norman kings of Sicily situated on the ground floor at the center of the Palazzo The Cathedral-Basilica of Cefalù, (Duomo di Cefalù is a Roman Catholic church in Cefalù, Sicily, southern Italy. 
The walls display two mosaics taken from the original Norman façade, depicting King Roger II, George of Antioch's lord, receiving the crown of Sicily from Jesus, and, on the northern side of the aisle, George himself, at the feet of the Virgin. Roger II ( 22 December 1095 &ndash 26 February 1154) was King of Sicily, son of Roger I of Sicily and successor to his Jesus of Nazareth (7–2 BC / BCE —26–36 AD / CE) The depiction of Roger was highly significant in terms of its iconography. In Western Christian tradition, kings were customarily crowned by the Pope or his representatives; however, Roger is shown in Byzantine dress being crowned by God himself. Roger was renowned for presenting himself as an emperor during his reign, being addressed as basileus ("emperor" in Greek). The mosaic of the crowning of Roger carries an inscription in a blend of Latin and Greek (Rogerios Rex, the former word in Greek, the latter in Latin).
The nave dome is occupied by the traditional Greek image of Christ Pantokrator surrounded by the archangels St Michael, St Gabriel, St Raphael and St Uriel. Meaning The most common translation of Pantocrator is "Almighty" or "All-powerful Archangels are superior or higher-ranking Angels Archangels are found in a number of religious traditions including Islam, Judaism, and Zoroastrianism Michael (מִיכָאֵל Micha'el or Mîkhā'ēl; Μιχαήλ Mikhaíl; Michael or Míchaël; ميخائيل Mikhā'īl) is an Gabriel ( Latin: Gabrielus; Greek:, Gabriēl; Arabic: جبريل Jibrīl or جبرائيل Uriel ( אוּרִיאֵל "Fire of God " Auriel/Oriel (light of god Standard Hebrew Uriʾel', Tiberian Hebrew ʾÛrîʾēl The register below depicts the eight prophets of the Old Testament and, in the pendentives, the four evangelists of the New Testament. In Western Christianity, the Old Testament refers to the books that form the first of the two-part Christian Biblical canon. A pendentive is a constructive device permitting the placing of a circular Dome over a square room or an elliptical Dome over a rectangular room The nave vault depicts the Nativity and the Death of the Virgin. The Nativity of Jesus has been a major subject of Christian art since the 4th century
The newer part of the church is decorated with later frescoes of comparatively little artistic significance. The frescoes in the middle part of the walls are from the 18th century, attributed to Guglielmo Borremans. The 18th century lasted from 1701 to 1800 in the Gregorian calendar, in accordance with the Anno Domini / Common Era numbering system Guglielmo Borremans ( Antwerp, 1672 - Palermo, 1724) was a painter born in Antwerp, mainly active in Italy, especially