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.

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Survey of the royal tombs

The area of the Sanctuary

A new Cathedral

The stone bible

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The towers and the western facade

The lost chapel

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

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

The cemetery of kings

The king’s mark

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Transformations over the centuries

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

The balance between architecture and light

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The longest aisle

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

A controversial interpretation

The Virgin Hodegetria

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

The Chapel of the Kings

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The Cathedral over the centuries

The original design

The Great Restoration

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Worship services

The mosaics of the apses

Palermo: the happiest city

Beyond the harmony of proportions

A tree full of life

Interior decorations

Ecclesia munita

Squaring the circle

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The cultural substrate through time

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Roger II’s strategic design

A Northern population

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The decorated facade

The rediscovered chapel

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The senses tell Context 1

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

The southern portico

A remarkable ceiling

Mosaic decoration

The mosaics of the presbytery

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

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

A palimpsest of history

The side aisles

The beginning of the construction site

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

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

The Bible carved in stone

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

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon