Palermo Cathedral
The central body: the aisles

A remarkable ceiling

The central hall and aisles were covered by wooden roofs with massive oak beams, lacquered and decorated with resplendent shades of silver, white, yellow and black. In the concave and blue border, there were inscriptions in Greek characters, according to historical records : “the roof is adorned with a distinguished and elegant chiselling, an admirable variety of painting, the colour saffron and ‘ultramarine’ and golds, radiating splendour everywhere; gilded wooden flowers hang from the roof, resembling an inverted pyramid”.
The roof of the central hall, supported by nineteen large trusses, was made “ fairing-like ”, similar to the shape of an upturned ship, with an evangelical reference to “ Peter's ship carrying the faithful ”. Above the beams of the “ chains , a wooden walkway was placed at the centre for the control and maintenance of the entire nave. The system, which is also found in the Cefalù Cathedral , is known as the “ Dromic roof “.

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The cultural substrate through time

The towers and the western facade

The longest aisle

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Great Restoration

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The area of the Sanctuary

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

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

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

The Bible carved in stone

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The senses tell Context 1

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The balance between architecture and light

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

The mosaics of the apses

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The rediscovered chapel

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

A controversial interpretation

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

Survey of the royal tombs

Transformations over the centuries

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

The decorated facade

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The southern portico

The beginning of the construction site

The lost chapel

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The chapel of St. Benedict

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The side aisles

Squaring the circle

Under the crosses of the Bema

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The cemetery of kings

Mosaic decoration

The king’s mark

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

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

A Northern population

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

A tree full of life

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Chapel of the Kings

The stone bible

The mosaics of the presbytery

The Kings’ Cathedrals

A palimpsest of history

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

Ecclesia munita

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Worship services

The Cathedral over the centuries

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The Virgin Hodegetria

A remarkable ceiling

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

A new Cathedral

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

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Palermo: the happiest city

The original design

Interior decorations

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

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

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

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