Porta d’Ossuna Catacombs



The early-Christian catacomb of Porta d’Ossuna is an underground cemetery in the natural depression of the Paliretus in the north-west part of Palermo. These catacombs, which were discovered in 1739, represent the most monumental testimony of late antiquity in Palermo and early Christianity in Sicily. Along the corridors we find arcosolia, burial chambers embedded in niches with arched openings, and polysomia, arcosolia with multiple arches and a step arrangement designed to accommodate more bodies and cubicles, real bedrooms with a quadrangular layout with three arcosolia called trifora (three-lighted windows). On the walls there are also numerous small burial recesses, to accommodate bodies, and other smaller ones for lamps and offerings of relatives. During World War II, many displaced people lived in the catacombs to escape the bombing.

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