A MUSLIM PALACE IN SICILY MADE FOR KING WILLIAM II;
POPULARLY KNOWN AS “CUBA” ACTUALLY KUBBEH CASTLE.
Palermo Sicily the island has a history of 2700 years. From 831 to 1072 it was under Muslim rule, and it can be noted that the effects of Islamic aesthetics lasted centuries even after the end of Muslim rule. It was conquered by the Normans who ruled from 1130 to 1816, but had a treaty with the Arab Muslims not to interfere in their way of life. And nothing happened. However, the Islamic aesthetics swept the Norman Kings too through art, architecture, and even the lingual script. We find residues in the Palermo Quran, the Quranic inscription at the gate of the Cathedral, and host of Islamic related things, like coins, inscriptions, even wardrobe of the Normans. The visual impact of Islam is easy to discern in the area.
Jeremy Johns the great researcher discovered many things. He also uncovered that in the wardrobe of King William II, there are three notes written on the costume itself, testifying the name of the three Arabs who stitched the same. Those were Mukhr Muhammed (or Mahmud), Ali Maliti, and Marzuq, at the guidance of the eunuch Tumas (Gaytus Thomas) of the Royal Diwan. The clothing itself has Islamic perspective.
Many palaces in Palermo have Islamic architecture with Kufi inscriptions, including Cursive writing. Built in 1180 by King William II of Sicily from Arab architects still living in Sicily from older times and well versed in Islamic architecture. Decorated with inscriptions in Kufi script even on the top of the palace. Various other inscriptions inside are preserved too. But the whole complex is in literal ruins and have been used for adverse purposes. Even the mosaic of King William II shows inclinations towards Islamic aesthetics.
Visitors tell us that there are hardly any guides to the complex but it is worth seeing. It also has a background of Mafia of Sicily operating there. Mafia resistant groups are still operating there. But this Mafia was created to erase the close affinity between the Christian Kings and the Muslims living there. The cultural influence was tremendous.
An official note says:
Address: Corso Calatafimi, 100 90129 Palermo
The Cuba was built by William II of Sicily in his great Royal Park, as his personal recreation pavilion, together with an artificial lake: it shows strong Fatimid art influences, as it was designed and decorated by Arab artists. During the rule of Bourbon kings of Naples, it was annexed to a barracks. In the 16th century it was turned into a lepers’ colony.
Some say that the name Cuba derives from its approximately cubical form. Others that the name Cuba comes from the Arabic kubbeh, meaning dome.
Note on the pillar inscription:
Islamic inscription on a column in La Martorana (Santa Maria dell’Ammiraglio), Palermo. The inscription (in Kufic, the oldest calligraphic form of the various Arabic scripts) reads:
In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate, (“Basmala” – all prayers and chapters in the Quran starts with these words)
God is sufficient for me and He is the best advocate
Copyright © José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro for Mosaic King William II.Copyright Sebastian Fischer – Own work. (2007)
10 thoughts on “A MUSLIM PALACE IN SICILY MADE FOR KING WILLIAM II; POPULARLY KNOWN AS “CUBA” ACTUALLY KUBBEH CASTLE.”
Undiscovered areas of interest for Pakistan.
Unbelievable for secular believers but truth of Islamic past is overwhelming for faint hearted.
Some knowledgeable people think that date trees cannot grow in Sicily. I can only laugh at this assertion. Just Google Palermo as a city and capital of Sicily and discover the truth. We deal in our blog with hundred percent truth not empty claims. Disappointed with lack of knowledge of world travelled people.
An archaeologist replies from Italy
Though date palms were grown in southern Italy for brief periods during the ancient Roman era, their most extensive cultivation, on large plantations, took place in Sicily during the Arab period. By around 1300 they were considered an ornamental tree, so the fruit was not harvested and dates are found in very few traditional Sicilian recipes.
Mussulmano kee shan nazar ati hai
Nothing moves more than sound of Allah Akbar.
Hardly people know thanks for info
Never knew Muslim history of Sicily. Thank you for sharing this Sir
Palermo Qur’an one guzz is there in Khalili collection. We have the book.