Villa Palagonia in Bagheria, folly and esotericism

Was madness or alchemy at the origin of Villa Palagonia, in Bagheria? Whatever the case, the Sicilian building is so extraordinary that Goethe invented the neologism “Pallagonic” to address a new aesthetic category, encompassing all deform, crazy, chaotic, and madly disharmonious works.

Yet the person who had this bizarre structure built, overcrowded with monstrous sandstone statues, was generally deemed wise and authoritative, moderate and reasonable in his views and his decision. Goethe himself described him – that is, Francesco Ferdinando Gravina Cruyllas, Prince of Palagonia – as an elegant, “quiet and solemn” man.

Thus some believe the mid-1700s villa gives away a secret penchant for alchemy, and say its whole architectural structure can be interpreted in the light of typical esoteric symbols tied to the eternal search for the philosopher’s stone, verging on necromancy.

We may never know the truth. However, we can easily agree with poet Alda Merini, who said, “even folly deserves its praise”.

Photos via:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11445691@N02/2707564791
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30479977@N05/9254363111
http://www.flickr.com/photos/30479977@N05/9257118890
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52296611@N03/6936517707
http://www.flickr.com/photos/58619987@N05/5386575819/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amonasro/4378837637
http://www.flickr.com/photos/amonasro/4379591408
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brunosicilia/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelemirko/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/supergiu/4496798598/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tango-/6786436692
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tango-/6932277275
http://www.flickr.com/photos/vincenzodinuzzo/2929937324/

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Villa Palagonia in Bagheria, folly and esotericism

Bagheria (Pa)
Piazza Garibaldi, 3
+39 091 932088
+39 091 922118

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