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

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

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

A Northern population

The decorated facade

The Cathedral over the centuries

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A space between the visible and the invisible

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

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

The Great Restoration

Transformations over the centuries

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A controversial interpretation

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The mosaics of the apses

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

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Mosaic decoration

The stone bible

The Virgin Hodegetria

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

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

The side aisles

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

Worship services

The senses tell Context 1

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

The cemetery of kings

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

A new Cathedral

The original design

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The Gualtiero Cathedral

A tree full of life

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The mosaics of the presbytery

The area of the Sanctuary

The cultural substrate through time

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Squaring the circle

The Bible carved in stone

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The Chapel of the Kings

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The beginning of the construction site

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Interior decorations

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The rediscovered chapel

A remarkable ceiling

A palimpsest of history

The chapel of St. Benedict

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Survey of the royal tombs

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The lost chapel

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

The king’s mark

The towers and the western facade

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The southern portico

Palermo: the happiest city

The balance between architecture and light

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

Ecclesia munita

The longest aisle

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power