Monreale Cathedral

The Cathedral of Monreale was built at the behest of King William II. The entire monumental complex consists of the church, the Benedictine monastery and the royal palace. The cathedral is accessed through a portico of 1770 at the center of which is placed the portal with the bronze door of Bonanno Pisano. A second bronze door was made on the northern side of the church in 1179 by Barisano da Trani. The interior, with a nave and two side aisles, has one of the most extensive and impressive mosaic decorations created by Byzantine craftsmen. Mosaics depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments lead to the central apse where the Christ Pantocrator is placed, welcoming the faithful with his great embrace. The Benedictine monastery cloister is also from the same period. Its capitals stand out for their rich decoration, with zoomorphic, phytomorphic, fantastic and symbolic motifs.