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”.

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

A controversial interpretation

The Chapel of the Kings

The stone bible

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

The cemetery of kings

The original design

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

A tree full of life

The towers and the western facade

Interior decorations

A space between the visible and the invisible

Survey of the royal tombs

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Under the crosses of the Bema

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The king’s mark

The Bible carved in stone

The area of the Sanctuary

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

A palimpsest of history

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Transformations over the centuries

The side aisles

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The rediscovered chapel

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

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

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

The southern portico

A new Cathedral

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The senses tell Context 1

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Virgin Hodegetria

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

The longest aisle

The mosaics of the presbytery

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The Cathedral over the centuries

The lost chapel

The cultural substrate through time

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The beginning of the construction site

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Palermo: the happiest city

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Ecclesia munita

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

A remarkable ceiling

The Great Restoration

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

Squaring the circle

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The decorated facade

The mosaics of the apses

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The balance between architecture and light

Mosaic decoration

Roger II’s strategic design

A Northern population

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

Worship services

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations