Monreale Cathedral
the internal areas

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The name of the person who shaped the project is still unknown, but the work of the Florentine master Pietro Bacchiotta and the Palermitan sculptor Marco Antonio d'Aprile is certain.
They embellished this oblong and rectangular space and intervened in the reconstruction of the floors of the cathedral’s  aisles as early as 1590.

Like a precious casket enclosed between two pre-existing rooms, the chapel captures the attention of those who enter, through it’s longitudinal axis, emphasising its double function: the first, visible in the eastern wall that houses the tomb dedicated to the founder, the second, a reliquary dedicated to the homonymous saint, venerated in the ciborium altar , placed longitudinally on the opposite wall, behind which is an oil painting of Antonio Novelli .
The attention to symmetry is also apparent in the floor decoration, adorned with two large inscriptions that can be read from the central oval, arranged in a specular fashion.The barrel vaulted ceiling itself is not exempt from the rules of perspective, which can already be seen from the entrance, where three oval frescoes can be seen, two of which can be seen from the centre of the chapel, contrasting with the only one arranged transversely, reserved for the Torres coat of arms and its motto. The architecture visible today is not the original but derives from some architectural renovations that took place between 1946 and 1948.
From the chapel of S. Castrense, there is access to the small room containing the Chapel of the Holy  Sacrament”.

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The plasticism of the main portico and Bonanno Pisano’s Monumental Bronze Door

The Great Restoration

A new Cathedral

The cemetery of kings

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Thirteenth-century iconography decorates the nave’s wooden ceiling, designed with new solutions

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The mosaics of the apses

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The chapel of St. Benedict

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The columns of the nave: the meticulous study of the overall order

The longest aisle

Squaring the circle

The towers and the western facade

The links between the hauteville family and the monastic orders in Sicily

The chapel of the crucifix: an artistic casket based on a previous model

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The paradisiacal “Conca d’oro” that embraces Palermo: a name with countless faces through time

Biblical themes enlivened by the dazzling light of the stained – glass windows overlooking the naves

The side Portico: a combination of elegance and lightness of form

Tempus fugit: a strategic project implemented in a short period of time

The Cathedral over the centuries

Palermo: the happiest city

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The cultural substrate through time

Survey of the royal tombs

The side aisles

The balance between architecture and light

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Ecclesia munita

Interior decorations

The beginning of the construction site

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The decorated facade

The Virgin Hodegetria

A palimpsest of history

Under the crosses of the Bema

The king’s mark

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The architectural modifications ti the cathedral building after the death of Roger II and the transformations of the cloister

A compositional design that combines nordic examples with new artistic languages, over the centuries

Worship services

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A Northern population

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The original design

The Gualtiero Cathedral

From the main gate to the aisles: an invitation to a journey of faith

The southern portico

The senses tell Context 1

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The Bible carved in stone

Roger II’s strategic design

The lost chapel

The marble portal: an intimate dialogue between complex ornamental aspects and formal structure

The area of the Sanctuary

The Chapel of the Kings

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The mosaics of the presbytery

The rediscovered chapel

The stone bible

A controversial interpretation

A tree full of life

The Cefalù cathedral: a construction yard undergoing a change between a surge of faith and control over the territory

Mosaic decoration

A remarkable ceiling

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Transformations over the centuries