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History, Iconography and Digital Drawing for Architectural Heritage: The Case Study of the Church of S. Nicolò alla Kalsa in Palermo (Sicily)

  • Authors: Garofalo Emanuela; Garofalo Vincenza; Barrale Laura
  • Publication year: 2022
  • Type: Contributo in atti di convegno pubblicato in volume
  • OA Link:


This contribution aims to test the efficiency of a research methodology based on an interdisciplinary approach. This is to be achieved through the case study of the disappeared church of S. Nicolò alla Kalsa in Palermo, an imposing medieval building dating back to the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries and demolished after an earthquake in 1823. The reconstruction of the original configuration of this disappeared monument was achieved through traditional research sources and tools in the field of architectural and urban history, as well as architectural drawing, relying on both traditional and up-to-date digital technologies. The main source used for this virtual reconstruction is a rich historical iconography, ranging between urban and architectural scales and decoration details. This led to the elaboration of a 3D model of the lost monument. Some differences and contradictions were noticed in the configuration of the church and its surroundings transmitted by drawings and engravings from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries. This required an interpretation process in which considerations on building techniques, comparisons of drawings and written sources and confrontations with other coeval buildings concurred to the elaboration of a plausible hypothesis.