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Palermo

BOURBON ARSENAL AND THE SEA MUSEUM

written by Chiara Guzzetti

Ostuni città bianca

The Maritime Museum of Palermo, opened in 1997, is housed in the Arsenale. The Arsenal was built by the architect Mariano Palermo Smiriglio in just nine years, between 1621 and 1630 and was finished by the viceroy Francisco Fernández de la Cueva, Duke of Alburquerque.

The building has a rectangular structure, the ground floor is a series of six arches, and six windows on the upper floor. On the front is placed the emblem of an eagle with the head of the Bourbons. In 1797 it was the last ship built and launched rowing in the yard of the Arsenal.
The boats of the Royal Navy were built in the rear of the structure. This was bombed and destroyed in 1943, together with the adjacent small church, Santa Maria della Vittoria.

After the restoration the building was turned into a museum. Today, inside, you can see scale models, hand-made, of different types of ships and two guns of the Bourbon period, from the 700. Moreover, there are very interesting books that contained the original technical guidance for the safe harbor in the various ports, called "Coast Pilot".

  • Maritime Museum
    Maritime Museum

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