Palermo Cathedral
The central body: the aisles

The Cathedral over the centuries

The common fate of most Romanesque churches was that they were transformed in the following centuries according to the style of the time. Some were profoundly modified and others were decorated with added compositions, without altering their original character.
A similar fate befell the Palermo Cathedral, which underwent numerous and varied transformations, restorations and embellishments from the 15th century until the early 18th century.These works did not change the structural characteristics of the building but simply added additional spaces for the clergy and for worship, sacristies and side chapels dedicated to the saints worshipped in the city. The interior walls were decorated with Baroque style frescoes and stucco work with garlands and wreaths, as well as other artistic works.
In the second half of the 18th century, the building was generally in poor condition and needed urgent work. Archbishop Filangeri and the Cathedral Chapter petitioned King Ferdinand IV of Bourbonto intervene “to restore decorum and dignity to the city’s mother church”.

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

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The towers and the western facade

The Virgin Hodegetria

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

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

A remarkable ceiling

The mosaics of the apses

The original design

Roger II’s strategic design

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

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The stone bible

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

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

The lost chapel

The Bible carved in stone

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Squaring the circle

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The decorated facade

Interior decorations

A space between the visible and the invisible

The balance between architecture and light

Transformations over the centuries

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Survey of the royal tombs

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

The king’s mark

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

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

A Northern population

A controversial interpretation

The senses tell Context 1

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The cultural substrate through time

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

A palimpsest of history

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

The rediscovered chapel

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The chapel of St. Benedict

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The side aisles

The Cathedral over the centuries

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The longest aisle

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The southern portico

The cemetery of kings

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Ecclesia munita

A new Cathedral

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Chapel of the Kings

Under the crosses of the Bema

The mosaics of the presbytery

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Mosaic decoration

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The area of the Sanctuary

Palermo: the happiest city

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

The beginning of the construction site

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

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

The Great Restoration

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

Worship services

A tree full of life