Cefalù Cathedral
context 2

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

Even before his coronation, Roger II went to the Abbey of St Mary and the Twelve Apostles in Bagnara to place the Diocese of Cefalù under the control of the Augustinian canons , the order favoured by the king and the most powerful of the non-Benedictine Latin monastic orders.
The communities of the latter, present on the island, were established in the form of colonies or were directly dependent on the four great abbeys erected by the Hauteville family: Lipari – Patti, Catania, San Giovanni degli Eremiti and Monreale. However, Latin monasteries were rather scarce on the southern and western Sicilian coasts, especially in the early period, in which the Basilian abbeys of S.Giorgio, Triocala, S.Michele di Mazara and S.Maria di Mazara had an indisputable predominance. In these places, the Muslim presence was, for a long time, active and was not influenced by Latinising agents.
Unlike what happened in Europe, where the sovereigns’ abbeys did not overpower those of the feudal lords, the opposite occurred in Sicily, although the monasteries’ loyalty established an indispensable link to which the rulers aspired. The king, as hereditary papal legate, had direct control over the appointment of abbots and bishops, as well as the religious institutions present on the island, in order to give greater impetus to the spread of the Western Christian Church.

The lost chapel

The area of the Sanctuary

Roger II’s strategic design

Ecclesia munita

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The balance between architecture and light

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

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

The mosaics of the apses

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

Palermo: the happiest city

A tree full of life

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The beginning of the construction site

The stone bible

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Transformations over the centuries

The original design

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

A palimpsest of history

Worship services

A remarkable ceiling

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The Great Restoration

The longest aisle

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

The cemetery of kings

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

Squaring the circle

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The king’s mark

The side aisles

The Virgin Hodegetria

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

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

The rediscovered chapel

Mosaic decoration

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The decorated facade

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The Chapel of the Kings

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The Cathedral over the centuries

The cultural substrate through time

The towers and the western facade

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

Interior decorations

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

A Northern population

The senses tell Context 1

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The Bible carved in stone

The southern portico

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

A space between the visible and the invisible

A controversial interpretation

A new Cathedral

Survey of the royal tombs

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Gualtiero Cathedral