Palazzo degli Elefanti

37.50241666666715.086583333333Koordinaten: 37 ° 30 '9 " N, 15 ° 5' 12" E

The Palazzo degli Elefanti is the town hall of the city of Catania in Sicily and is therefore also called Palazzo Municipale.

The Palazzo

The Palazzo Municipale of Catania was rebuilt after the eruption of Mount Etna in 1669 and the earthquake in 1693 by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini in 1735. The ground floor had already begun when he took over the construction management and it shows the characteristic of the early style of Catania Rustifizierung.

Vaccarini window and the upper floor were completely different styles. The pilasters are more highly performed, but without Rustifizierung, and wear a cornice, as in contemporary Rome was customary at that time. The windows correspond to the Roman model. The impression of the Roman monumentality is enhanced by the powerful entrance of the Palazzo, whose detached double columns are topped by a balcony on the first floor. In the arms of the city can be seen.

From this balcony was the illustrious company of Catania to the religious festivals, participate in the " cantate " and the fireworks in honor of St. Agatha, the patron saint of Catania. In the work I VICERÈ the writer Federico De Roberto (1861-1927), one could read: ... it started the fireworks that had been paid by the prince; in the midst of the smoke glowed again and again and in ever shorter intervals becoming the fireworks on how the barrage of a regiment ...

The Elephant Fountain

Before the Palazzo Municipale Vaccarini built in 1736 a fountain that was decorated with an obelisk -carrying elephant, the heraldic symbol and landmark of the city of Catania.

The idea for this monument goes back to Gian Lorenzo Bernini's elephant in front of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome. But while there, the base consists of a simple square and the main interest focused on the movement of the animal, bears a striking Catania Elephant jewelry in the shape of an obelisk.

Vaccarini discovered the elephant happened to be in the rubble of the destroyed city. It dates from Roman times and probably made the completion of a race track. Also, the obelisk was found by accident. He comes from Egypt and shows symbols of Isiskults. Vaccarini equipped the elephant made ​​of black lava rock with a saddle blanket made ​​of white marble and built on the obelisk. On the top of a cross, symbol of Christianity, was attached to arm the city against other natural disasters.



  • For more information (in Italian )
  • Palace in Sicily
  • Baroque building in Catania
  • Built in the 1730s
  • City Hall in Italy