royal tombs

The Chapel of the Royal Tombs, inside the Palermo Cathedral, houses the tombs of the Norman Roger II, first king of Sicily, Constance of Hauteville and Henry VI of Swabia and their son Frederick II, together with his first wife Constance of Aragon. Four sarcophagi are placed in corresponding areas of the chapel, that of Roger II and Constance of Hauteville in the background, the funerary monuments of Frederick II and Henry VI in the first position. The sarcophagi, used as burial places by Henry VI and Frederick II, were carved using elements of red porphyry.. The two sarcophagi, intended to be placed in the Cefalù Cathedral, were commissioned by (app. historical figure) Roger II, before 1145: one to hold his mortal remains and the other, to be left empty, ‘for the greater glory of God’. After the King’s death in 1154, his wishes were not respected as Frederick II had them transferred to the Palermo Cathedral, allocating one for himself and the other for “to the greater glory of God” The two sarcophagi have grey marble and porphyry slab roofs, supported by six porphyry columns. The entablature of the canopy covering the emperor’s sarcophagus contains anthropomorphic protomes.
The first King of Sicily rests in a tomb, with a rectangular case, covered with red porphyry slabs and a sloping lid, supported by a sculptural group of four male figures. Queen and Empress Constance of Hauteville lies in a red porphyry sarcophagus, bearing the epitaph “Romanorum imperatrix, semper augusta et regina Siciliae”. Both sarcophagi are surmounted by marble canopies; those for Roger II and Constance of Hauteville are in white marble, supported by columns decorated with mosaics with geometric motifs, together with the entablature.