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.

The mosaics of the presbytery

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Mosaic decoration

The towers and the western facade

Interior decorations

The cultural substrate through time

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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 Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

The mosaics of the apses

The king’s mark

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The side aisles

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Survey of the royal tombs

The Virgin Hodegetria

The Great Restoration

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

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

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

A new Cathedral

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The balance between architecture and light

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Cathedral over the centuries

The southern portico

The Chapel of the Kings

The beginning of the construction site

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The senses tell Context 1

A tree full of life

Ecclesia munita

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The longest aisle

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

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

A remarkable ceiling

Roger II’s strategic design

The lost chapel

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Worship services

The area of the Sanctuary

The chapel of St. Benedict

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The rediscovered chapel

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Transformations over the centuries

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A Northern population

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A palimpsest of history

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

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

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

Squaring the circle

The cemetery of kings

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Palermo: the happiest city

The stone bible

The original design

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

A controversial interpretation

The Bible carved in stone

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The decorated facade