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Palermo, Sicily

Written on: Thursday May 31st, 2007

A journal entry from: Blitz the Med

I don't have too much to say about Palermo. I was incredibly tired this day and didn't do any research on the city so didn't really know what to see or where to go. We did end up going to this giant cathedral in the center of town, the Cathedral of Palermo (aptly named), which was actually originally a Mosque and turned into a church. It was quite standard fare except for one really awesome feature. The Cathedral boasts a heliometer, which we actually got to see in action while we were there.

Basically there is a small pinhole in one of the domes of the cathedral. At noon, the sun shines through the pinhole and projects an image of the sun onto the floor. On the floor there is a bronze line called, la Meridiana, which apparently runs exactly North-South. As the tilt of the earth moves from one solstice to the other, the sun hits the line at a different spot. At each of the solstices, the mark is on opposite sides of the line.

There are also zodiac signs embedded in the floor, so over time, the sun mark slowly moves across the floor through the zodiac signs during their solar time. Very cool!

Other then that, we walked around a bit, visited a military building we thought was a crypt, and saw a very cool round-a-bout with absolutely beautiful architecture. I think it was honor St. Valerie Pearl... I can't be sure though. :)

Next stop, back to Barcelona for a couple days!




From kimhardy on Jun 4th, 2007

Hey Bryan, thanks for your comment :) The map is fine, it was my ineptitude at IT that was the problem hahaha! Hope you're having a good trip! x