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.

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The Gualtiero Cathedral

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

The beginning of the construction site

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The Virgin Hodegetria

The chapel of St. Benedict

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The balance between architecture and light

The decorated facade

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

The southern portico

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

The stone bible

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

Palermo: the happiest city

The cultural substrate through time

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The king’s mark

The Great Restoration

The towers and the western facade

The Bible carved in stone

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

A new Cathedral

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The senses tell Context 1

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

The Cathedral over the centuries

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Transformations over the centuries

A palimpsest of history

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

The Chapel of the Kings

A space between the visible and the invisible

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

The longest aisle

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

A controversial interpretation

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

A Northern population

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

A tree full of life

Roger II’s strategic design

The area of the Sanctuary

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The mosaics of the apses

Worship services

Ecclesia munita

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Mosaic decoration

The original design

Under the crosses of the Bema

A remarkable ceiling

The rediscovered chapel

The lost chapel

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The side aisles

Squaring the circle

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Survey of the royal tombs

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Interior decorations

The cemetery of kings