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”.

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

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

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

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

A new Cathedral

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The beginning of the construction site

Mosaic decoration

Interior decorations

A space between the visible and the invisible

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The Bible carved in stone

A tree full of life

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

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

Transformations over the centuries

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The mosaics of the apses

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

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

The Great Restoration

A Northern population

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

Palermo: the happiest city

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The towers and the western facade

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Squaring the circle

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Virgin Hodegetria

Ecclesia munita

The southern portico

The longest aisle

Survey of the royal tombs

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

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

A controversial interpretation

The Cathedral over the centuries

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The cultural substrate through time

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Roger II’s strategic design

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The senses tell Context 1

The Chapel of the Kings

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

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

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

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

The area of the Sanctuary

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

A palimpsest of history

Beyond the harmony of proportions

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

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

The stone bible

The lost chapel

Under the crosses of the Bema

The mosaics of the presbytery

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The original design

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The side aisles

Worship services

The king’s mark

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

The balance between architecture and light

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

A remarkable ceiling

The decorated facade

The rediscovered chapel

The cemetery of kings

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The chapel of St. Benedict