The Martorana Church, also known as the Church of St. Mary of the Admiral (Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio), is a remarkable example of Byzantine architecture located in the historic center of Palermo, Sicily.
Built in the 12th century, the church is famous for its extraordinary mosaics, which cover much of the interior walls and ceilings. The mosaics depict scenes from the life of Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the saints, and are executed in a vibrant Byzantine style, with bright colors and intricate details.
The church was founded by a Greek-Byzantine admiral named George of Antioch, who ruled Sicily on behalf of the Byzantine Emperor. Its construction was completed by George’s son, and the church was consecrated in 1143.
Over the centuries, the Chiesa della Martorana has undergone numerous restoration and expansion projects, but its original structure has been largely preserved. Today it is managed by the Orthodox Church of Sicily and is open to the public for visits and prayer. The church is an important tourist and cultural site in Palermo, and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015.