Cefalù Cathedral
the church hall

A space between the visible and the invisible

A place of experimentation in the late Romanesque age, closely linked to the monumental buildings of the great European churches, the Cefalù Cathedral draws a definitive dividing line between the earliest phase of the architecture in Norman Sicily. Entering Roger’s Temple, a path leads up from the porta regum  to the apsidal basin , where we are enveloped by an east-facing basilica-like space with a Latin cross plan .
The atmosphere is charged with symbolic elements , inviting us to embark on exodal path from darkness to light, religiously represented by Christ’s Parousiastic return through the anticipatory Altar of the Eucharist .
The thickness of the walls, even of the rear elevation, seems to emphasise the desire to draw a definitive line between the spiritual space of the Cathedral and the material space of the outside world, where the only light entering is that coming from a multitude of windows. It caresses the architectural masses of the liturgical spaces through the vibrant modulation of the colours of the contemporary stained-glass windows , evocative of the mosaic ornamentation that was supposed to decorate nave , but was never produced.

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Beyond the harmony of proportions

A space between the visible and the invisible

The mosaics of the presbytery

Ecclesia munita

Survey of the royal tombs

A new Cathedral

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The chapel of St. Benedict

The Gualtiero Cathedral

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

The southern portico

A controversial interpretation

The lost chapel

Roger II’s strategic design

Squaring the circle

The original design

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

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

The beginning of the construction site

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Under the crosses of the Bema

The rediscovered chapel

The Cathedral over the centuries

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The Bible carved in stone

A remarkable ceiling

The longest aisle

Interior decorations

The Great Restoration

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The cemetery of kings

The decorated facade

Palermo: the happiest city

Transformations over the centuries

The balance between architecture and light

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

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Worship services

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

The mosaics of the apses

The Virgin Hodegetria

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

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

The area of the Sanctuary

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

A palimpsest of history

The side aisles

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

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

The king’s mark

The stone bible

Mosaic decoration

A tree full of life

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

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

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

The cultural substrate through time

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

A Northern population

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The towers and the western facade

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

The Chapel of the Kings

The senses tell Context 1

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

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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