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 Kings

The Virgin Hodegetria

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

Squaring the circle

The lost chapel

The cultural substrate through time

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

The rediscovered chapel

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Palermo: the happiest city

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

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

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

The area of the Sanctuary

A palimpsest of history

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

A Northern population

Survey of the royal tombs

Transformations over the centuries

A controversial interpretation

The king’s mark

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

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

Beyond the harmony of proportions

A space between the visible and the invisible

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The side aisles

The senses tell Context 1

Worship services

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The towers and the western facade

The beginning of the construction site

The southern portico

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

The cemetery of kings

Mosaic decoration

The mosaics of the apses

Ecclesia munita

The decorated facade

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

A new Cathedral

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Great Restoration

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The longest aisle

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

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

A remarkable ceiling

The Bible carved in stone

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A tree full of life

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The chapel of St. Benedict

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The original design

The balance between architecture and light

The Cathedral over the centuries

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Roger II’s strategic design

Interior decorations

The stone bible

The Kings’ Cathedrals