Palermo Cathedral
St. Mary Magdalene

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The southern front of the Cathedral is the most articulated part of the sacred building. Its imposing bulk can be appreciated from the front floor, which includes the entire volume.The church underwent various modifications over the centuries and this part lent itself well to subsequent extensions, thanks to the open space in front of it, which allowed the addition of external volumes.
During the transformation works carried out at the end of the 18th century, a number of structures were built on this front, added to the right side aisle, enlarging and modifying the chapels that had previously existed with the creation of the Beneficiali Sacristy.These changes resulted in a new alignment of the outer walls, incorporating the western side of the former Sacristy of the Canons. As early as the 16th century, it was concealed on its eastern front, where a building was constructed to house the Cathedral's treasury . The Sacristy of the Canons features its southern elevation, the only one visible today, composed of two distinct parts. The basement area is attributable to a medieval architectural building, characterised by a cornice, which was the terminal cymatium of the original building, decorated with blind trefoil arches , interspersed with antefixes with anthropomorphic representations and hanging nail columns. The upper part comes from a 15th-century Gothic elevation , the facing of which is enlivened by a series of single-lancet windows with an alternating open-closed rhythm, with recessed pointed arches and rich floral decoration carved into the wall face. Historical reconstruction and architectural analysis can lead to this building being identified, in its basement part, with the ancient Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene.

The king’s mark

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Worship services

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Interior decorations

The Chapel of the Kings

A palimpsest of history

Roger II’s strategic design

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The towers and the western facade

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The decorated facade

Mosaic decoration

A controversial interpretation

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

The area of the Sanctuary

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The chapel of St. Benedict

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

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

The cemetery of kings

The rediscovered chapel

A new Cathedral

The balance between architecture and light

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

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

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

The beginning of the construction site

The side aisles

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A space between the visible and the invisible

The mosaics of the apses

The original design

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Ecclesia munita

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The lost chapel

Survey of the royal tombs

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The southern portico

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

The stone bible

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The Virgin Hodegetria

The Bible carved in stone

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

Squaring the circle

A tree full of life

The longest aisle

The Cathedral over the centuries

The cultural substrate through time

The senses tell Context 1

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The mosaics of the presbytery

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

A remarkable ceiling

Transformations over the centuries

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

A Northern population

Palermo: the happiest city

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The Great Restoration

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