Cefalù Cathedral
the facade and the portico

The decorated facade

The main façade, rising to the west, is enclosed between two imposing square towers with a pyramid-shaped apex. They are a reminder of its original function as Ecclesia Munita , a fortress church, with a series of multi-level walkways, now uncovered, built within the thickness of the walls, connecting the two towers to the transept, in defence of the Cathedral.The front elevation of the religious building, restored at the end of the 15th century, is home to the protruding body of the tetrastyle portico , built by magister Ambrosius da Como . It was divided into three large arches, with two lateral ones with pointed arches and a central full centre one , supported by four columns. The dynamism of the ribbed cross vaults which fill the roof of the portico echoes the decorations of the ancient gateway , preserved over the centuries.
In addition to the monumental marble portal that ennobles the façade, whose creation dates back to the initial cathedral project, there are two further orders. The first order is marked by an elaborate row of four blind pointed arches on each side, which intersect each other, interrupted only at the centre by a large window bearing an inscription dated 1240, referring to Giovanni Panittera , a testimony to his work on the elevation of the Cathedral.
The last level differs from the one below due to the presence of decorative elements of simpler workmanship.

A Northern population

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The longest aisle

Ecclesia munita

A remarkable ceiling

The area of the Sanctuary

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Chapel of the Kings

The lost chapel

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The original design

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

Worship services

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

Squaring the circle

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The mosaics of the presbytery

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

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

The side aisles

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

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The Cathedral over the centuries

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The Great Restoration

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

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

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The king’s mark

The mosaics of the apses

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The decorated facade

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The cultural substrate through time

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Survey of the royal tombs

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

A tree full of life

Under the crosses of the Bema

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The balance between architecture and light

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The senses tell Context 1

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The southern portico

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Interior decorations

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The Bible carved in stone

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

The rediscovered chapel

A new Cathedral

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

The beginning of the construction site

Mosaic decoration

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The stone bible

A controversial interpretation

The cemetery of kings

The towers and the western facade

Transformations over the centuries

The Virgin Hodegetria

Palermo: the happiest city

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Kings’ Cathedrals

A palimpsest of history

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The chapel of St. Benedict