Monreale Cathedral
the Great Presbytery

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

A significant trace, still visible in the architecture of Monreale Cathedral, can be attributed to Archbishop Giovanni Ruano , who built the Chapel of the Crucifix, his main work inside the Temple. It was consecrated in 1692, after a short period of work between the date of its design in 1686 by the Capuchin Friar Giovanni da Monreale , whose work was continued by the Jesuit Angelo Italia , and its completion in 1690.The portal , decorated with sacred and profane themes ,  Is located at the side of the Chapel of the Sacrament, which is accessed from the left wing of the transept. The decoration already suggests the celebratory purpose of this space, which was dedicated to the veneration of the crucifix and at the same time to the burial of the archbishop himself and his successors.
From the architecture of this place, consisting of a lowered barrel vault , it is possible to trace the original connection between the Church and the Royal Palace , destroyed by Cardinal Giovanni Borgia in order to build a road and later restored through the adoption of a covered passageway distinguished by grey marble walls.
Even from this area, the reference to the family of its founder becomes inescapable, as can be seen from the coats of arms that reach the ribs visible on the vault.

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Palermo: the happiest city

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

A remarkable ceiling

Roger II’s strategic design

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The Chapel of the Kings

The senses tell Context 1

The cemetery of kings

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

The original design

The Bible carved in stone

The stone bible

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The decorated facade

The lost chapel

A Northern population

The longest aisle

A tree full of life

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The chapel of St. Benedict

Mosaic decoration

Survey of the royal tombs

A space between the visible and the invisible

The area of the Sanctuary

Interior decorations

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

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

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The Great Restoration

Ecclesia munita

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

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

A palimpsest of history

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

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

The Virgin Hodegetria

Squaring the circle

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The side aisles

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

The Cathedral over the centuries

The mosaics of the presbytery

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

The cultural substrate through time

The towers and the western facade

The southern portico

A new Cathedral

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Worship services

A controversial interpretation

Transformations over the centuries

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The balance between architecture and light

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

The rediscovered chapel

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

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

The mosaics of the apses

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The beginning of the construction site

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The king’s mark

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

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