Carmine Convent


Ancient monastery.
Amid your arches I heard
the murmur of prayers.
Amid your columns I recalled
musings profound.
Amid your silence I found
serenity of spirit.


Carmelite Complex of the Annunciation

 It was almost certainly founded between the 13th and 14th century.  It is one of the most significant examples of the Mendicant Orders’ settlements in Marsala, and, since its origin, was entrusted to the friars coming from the Carmel Mount in Palestine. 
These friars settled down in peripheral areas where the land cost was lower.
The primitive Medieval Carmine Church was transformed in the late Renaissance and its modernization is probably to be attributed to Carmelite Father Niccolò Petrulla, master of theology and philosophy.
The complex grew in importance for the history of Marsala so as to give its name to one of the town districts:  the quarter of Annunciation.
The structure is the result of many transformations that since the 17th century  have changed its original dimensions.  It was rich in art works like the Grignani sepulchres which were later moved to the Cathedral after the roof fell down in 1745.
After 1866, as a result of religious orders suppression, the Convent passed to the Town Administration that gave it over to the Carabinieri.  In the 90’s it was restored and turned into a museum.
The Convent, called Carminio, is today the prestigious seat of the Agency for Contemporary Painting Exhibitions, the Town Picture Gallery, and the Town Historical Records Office.

The hidden jewel

 Its construction dates back to 1513.  It was restored in 1684 but then collapsed in 1745-1747 during some strengthening work.
It was re-built in 1748 as it remains in its present form by Giovanni Biagio Amico, royal architect in Trapani. 
He maintained its original structure and proportions. 
Considered as one of Sicily’s marvels, the helicoidal bell tower on an octagonal base is made of yellow tuff rock.  It is one of the four Sicilian bell towers that have this specific architectural and compositional character.

Carmine monastery - open

Carmine monastery - open

Town Picture Gallery - open

Town Historical Records Office - open

Carmine church’s bell tower - open