Cefalù Cathedral
context 2

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

For the organisation of space in religious architecture, the year 1000 marked a period of revision of the solutions already initiated in the Carolingian era. The need for a renewed use of the liturgy took on not only symbolic but also rational importance, so much so as to modify the design of the sacred area. The increase in the number of clergy, who came to form a social group distinct from the community of the faithful, made it necessary to enlarge and raise the presbytery .This change gave the apse greater depth, reserving additional space for the creation of the choir which was placed in the nave in front of the altar.The reformulation of spaces, together with the introduction of secondary apses, emphasised the importance of the officiating religious over the faithful, who now attended the celebrations separated by fences (plutei in the Roman rite and iconòstasis in the Greek rite) which enclosed the presbytery. The overall impression of the building continues to reflect that of a vibrant arrangement of spaces, in which the dynamism of the projecting structural elements interacts with the recesses which mark the openings, such as windows and portals. In some religious buildings, characterised by thick walls, the is used to compensate for the greater height of the central nave compared to the side aisles. Almost as if to contrast with the elevated position of this gallery, the Romanesque church below its longitudinal plan, often with a transept , conceals crypts beneath the  presbytery, according to a tradition derived from the Carolingian and Ottonian periods.

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A controversial interpretation

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The towers and the western facade

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

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

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A new Cathedral

Survey of the royal tombs

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

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

The decorated facade

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

Interior decorations

The king’s mark

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

A Northern population

The area of the Sanctuary

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Chapel of the Kings

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

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

The balance between architecture and light

The Great Restoration

The rediscovered chapel

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

The stone bible

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The southern portico

Roger II’s strategic design

The Cathedral over the centuries

A palimpsest of history

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

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

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

The Bible carved in stone

The side aisles

Under the crosses of the Bema

A tree full of life

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The beginning of the construction site

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A remarkable ceiling

The mosaics of the presbytery

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Worship services

The chapel of St. Benedict

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

The longest aisle

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

Mosaic decoration

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

The lost chapel

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The cemetery of kings

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The senses tell Context 1

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Transformations over the centuries

The original design

Ecclesia munita

The Virgin Hodegetria

The cultural substrate through time

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Squaring the circle

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Palermo: the happiest city

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The mosaics of the apses

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

The Gualtiero Cathedral