MARSALA: MUSEUMS ART AND COLTURE
A journey through centuries
Everything you shouldn’t miss in Marsala
ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM BAGLIO ANSELMI
( Lungomare Boeo ):
housed in the old wine factory of Carlalberto Anselmi, designed by Basile, the museum houses the wreckage of a Punic ship recovered between 1971 and 1974 off the Long Island.
It is probably a liburna, the only ever found, fast 35 m long warship, which is supposed to have been sunk at the end of the First Punic War, in the battle of the Egadi of 241 a. C.</ P>
Thanks to this discovery it was possible to learn about the technique that the Phoenicians used for the construction of their boats.
Incredible is the alloy used to make the nails that held the boards together: after more than 2000 years at sea they show no trace of oxidation.
The museum also collects significant finds that tell the story of Marsala and the surrounding areas from prehistory to the Middle Ages. Particularly interesting are the windows dedicated to Mozia and some finely crafted Hellenistic jewels.
(inside Complesso S. Pietro ):
consists of 3 sections – archaeological – renaissance and garibaldina – popular traditions. In the latter are the clothes of the traditional procession of Holy Thursday during which, every year, the most salient moments of the passion of Christ are traced.
09.00 13.00 / 16.00 20.00 every day except Monday
Admission: 2 euros / reduction for students 1 euro – Tel: 0923 718741
MUSEUM OF TAPESTRIES
particularly noteworthy for its vivid colors and rich composition, the collection consists of eight large Flemish tapestries from the 1500s depicting moments of Tito’s war against the Jews. It was donated to the Mother Church by Msgr. Antonio Lombardo who, in turn, received it as a gift from the Spanish court.
09.00 – 13.00 / 16.00 – 18.00 from Tuesday to Saturday
09.00 – 13.00 on Sundays
Admission: 1.50 euros – Tel: 0923 712903
MUSEUM OF THE PEASANT TRADITION:
narrate the rituals, traditions and professions of an ancient civilization.
• Mirabile Museum
• Cantine Montalto www.enomuseum.com/museo.html
• Baglio Biesina: at Km 11 on via Salemi. For information 0923 953433
- Opening Times Baglio Anselmi Museum: 09-13.30
- Tuesday to Saturday 09-19.30
- Closed Monday
- Opening Times Archaeological Area Sunday and Holidays 09-12.30
- Opening Times Archaeological Area from Tuesday to Saturday 09-18.30
Archaeological Area of Marsala:
The visit to the archaeological area starts from the Baglio Anselmi Museum and allows, while walking on equipped paths, to be able to admire some findings that are the result of excavations that, on several occasions, have occurred over the decades.
First of all the famous Roman insula, brought to light in 1939, a large building with spacious rooms with mosaic floors, a thermal plant and related services.
Recently the imposing decumano maximus has been discovered, which undoubtedly represents the most exceptional discovery of the ancient city. Oriented in the direction of E-W, it was forbidden to wagons and ended towards the sea with a large staircase. Along the rediscovered road axis there is a public inscription relating to the magistrate who contributed to the construction of the great road axis which, incidentally, is exactly in line with Via XI Maggio, in the city. Note the excellent rainwater channeling system.
Interesting are, among others, two burials found on the decumano maximus, chest tombs joined by a wall in common, where there are written in Greek of red color preceded and followed by the symbol of the cross, besides to a large cross under each writing. The tombs can be dated to the sixth and seventh centuries and are important for the ritual that the writings describe, almost a true exorcism to bless the souls of the two dead.
The visit to the Archaeological Park of Marsala is well assisted by the guides present in the Baglio Anselmi Museum, from where, as mentioned, the itinerary starts.
The visit to the area of the Decumano Massimo alone is possible with free entry from Porta Nuova according to the following times:
– every day: 9.00am-1.00pm (last admission at 12.30pm);
– from Tuesday to Sunday, including public holidays: 3.00 pm-6.30 pm (last admission at 6.00 pm).
THE SUGESTIONS OF THE PAST
The wreck of the Punic ship of Marsala kept in the Archaeological Museum Baglio Anselmi of Marsala is today the only example of an existing Punic ship.
As for the manufacture of ships, the Punics were famous throughout the Mediterranean Sea for the skill and speed with which they built them. These in fact used a very particular technique which consisted in constructing single pieces of ship, “prefabricated”, which were marked with particular letters and signs, creating a sort of puzzle, which allowed the reassembly in a simple and quick way into a single object < sup id = “cite_ref-giglio4_2-0” class = “reference”> < / sup>.
Once the excavations were finished, the ship’s woods were preserved in fresh water and subsequently assembled and preserved in this beam, used for the occasion as a museum. Of the Punic ship of Marsala, unfortunately, only some parts are preserved, which are however admired by many scholars and tourists from all over the world .
The materials found on board
At the time of the discovery, other objects that were part of the boat or that belonged to the crew members were found among the remains of the hull: < / sup>
- stones used for ballast that probably came from the Lazio coasts;
- animal bones cut into pieces;
- olive pits and walnut shells (perhaps the ship sank in an autumn or winter period, given the absence of fresh fruit remains);
- cannabis sativa leaves (perhaps used to alleviate sailors’ labors);
- esparto broom(vegetable fiber still used today to make baskets);
- “leaded” strings, that is, intertwined and reinforced thanks to a wooden instrument terminating in a point and still used today (the ankle);
- mugs, plates, bowls, a mortar, cork stoppers;
- a dagger. </ Li></ Ul>These, and other findings, were analyzed with carbon 14 and agree to date the ship in the mid-third century BC The find In 1969, during the excavation works by a dredge, ancient vessels and other finds were discovered in the area of Punta Scario , off the island Grande, near the north entrance of the Stagnone lagoon . In 1971 the movement of a sand bank brought out the stern of the ship a few meters below sea level, near the Punic artificial canal (“fretum intraboream”) which today has been lost. The excavation began immediately, entrusted to the archaeologist Honor Frost. The recovery of the ship took place between the years 1971 and 1974
THE ROMAN SHIP
THE NEW ROMAN SHIP AT THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Inauguration at the Lilibeo Regional Archaeological Museum in Marsala of the exhibition of the “Late Roman onerous vessel” found in 1999 in front of the Lido di Marausa, on the border between Marsala and Trapani and recovered in 2008 with the numerous African cylindrical amphorae on board . The ceremony was dedicated to the Sicilian councilor Sebastiano Tusa, who died in the plane crash of the Ethiopian Airlines, creator of this realization, fruit of his tenacity and years of work. The quality of the restoration of the late-Roman trade vessel found in the shallow waters of the Marausa lido in 1999 constitutes a unicum that puts at the forefront the refined operation intended and directed by Sebastiano Tusa. The site of discovery, located between Marsala and Trapani at the mouth of the Birgi river, was a strategic landing point in both ancient times from a military and commercial point of view, as shown by the load of African amphorae and the material found on board. The fruitful collaboration between the Superintendency of the Sea and the Regional Center of Trapani and Marsala, of which the Lilibeo Museum is part, will allow, according to the Director of Polo Luigi Biondo, the birth of the most important Naval Museum in Sicily and one of the most important of the Mediterranean in that, in an exhibition that has been extensively renovated in 2017, it includes the Punic ship, the late Roman ship of Marausa and the medieval wrecks of Lido Signorino (Marsala). Just like Tusa wanted.
WHAT TO KNOW ABOUT MARSALA
Churches and Palaces from the Punic to the Baroque
Convento del Carmine
In the western corner of the city of Marsala, in the district of the Annunziata, the Carmelites built the church and the convent. The chosen area corresponds to the square called del Carmine (where also the baroque Palazzo Grignani is located) which is actually a widening almost rectangular which considerably widens a street of the ancient urban layout of Lilibeo.
There is no definite information regarding the arrival in Marsala of the friars of the Carmelite order. From many quarters it is asserted that they arrived in Sicily early enough to follow the queen Adelasia del Vasto, married in 1113 by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem and returned the following year, bringing with him some friars of the order. At the end of the 13th century, the friars were certainly in western Sicily, where it seems they arrived in 1224 and where starting from 1315 they built the church and their convent outside the walls, which became a magnet and destination of pilgrimages in honor of the Madonna of Trapani, work of Nino Pisano of the XIV century. In Marsala there is no trace of the Carmelite church and monastery, where the friars settled upon their arrival. The little information on the order is reported by historians, but they only agree on a rather dubious date, such as 1154/1155 or about 1200. The Carmelite complex that has come down to us is composed of three significant parts: the church, the convent and the bell tower.
The convent of the church of the Annunziata
The convent is one of the most important monuments. The oldest elements of the convent date back to the three or four hundred. The presence of frescoes, difficult to identify, given the extreme fragmentation and precariousness of the find, sheds new light on the presence of artistic decorations in the religious environments, especially in the convent, of the city of Marsala. First of all, The quite high artistic quality denotes the presence of a Marsalese pictorial school whose production of works fresco with religious themes dates back to the twelfth century at least, excluding, only for prudence, a continuity with the late ancient period. In view of the fact that these frescoes could go down until the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, the discovery shows that also in Marsala a well-known style persists in Eastern Sicily, very present also in the complex (now completely abandoned) of the church of the Madonna della Grotta, currently called “Byzantine”. Style almost impossible to find in other centers of Western Sicily. The frescos adorn the ingrottati and the churches since the Middle Ages and that it lingers until the thresholds of the Renaissance. This shows that this cultural and at the same time religious tradition was very widespread in the city, still in the full Renaissance, as in the case of the Cava church, and this awareness will allow in the future to look positively and with more attention to the restoration of the medieval buildings of the city, which in relation to this historical period is still waiting to be taken over.
Today, the convent of the Carmine is home to the Ente Exhibition of Contemporary Painting Città di Marsala , and recently hosted the works of the Milanese painter Fabrizio Clerici, and temporary exhibitions are held. The permanent collection is also displayed inside. It is also the Representative Office of the Municipality of Marsala, and inside it is the representation room where today civil weddings are celebrated. The Church until recently was the seat of the historical archive of the city, today transferred to the municipal library. In its place the Pro loco will be transferred. The bell tower still belongs to the Curia (Diocese of Mazara del Vallo), currently closed but it will soon be possible to visit it.