Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalů’ and Monreale

Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedral churches of Cefalů’ and Monreale is part of the Tentative List in order to qualify for inclusion in the World Heritage List.

Click here for a short description of the site, as delivered by the State Party

Year Decision Comments
2010 Tentative list Submitted as tentative site by State Party


Jorge Sanchez (Spain):
Sicily Island is a country in itself. There is plenty of history and wonderful places to visit.
During the week that I spent there I did not miss Palermo, of course, Siracusa, Catania, Agrigento and Cefalu.
In Cefalu you can get cheap boats to the Eolie Islands, but since I was short of money, I did not take it. Instread, in Porto Empedocles, near Agrigento, I boarded a ferry to lampedusa Island.

When I visited Cefalu (mainly the churches, since I love to visit religious places) some people told me about the house where an English mystic of the XX century (and also a Himalaya climber), named Aleister (Alexander) Crowley, lived some years and called it Abbey of Theleme, and learnt that it was abandoned after Mussolini expelled him from Italy because of his esoteric practices. Anyway I went up there just for curiosity, near the stadium premises, and saw it with the roof destroyed, walled by the local authorities in order to prevent people from entering, and full with grasses and herbs almost covering it.
I could distinguish painting in its walls, but did not dare to climb to the place, since it was fenced.
I remember that I felt very bad in my stomach while staying near that house, as if it was enchanted. Suddenly I felt that I had to go urgently to the restroom. Not having time to look for a cafeteria, and not seeing a better place, I finally entered the patio of the Crowley house where I could find relief.
Date posted: September 2013

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