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.

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The towers and the western facade

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Worship services

A remarkable ceiling

Survey of the royal tombs

The senses tell Context 1

The mosaics of the apses

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Palermo: the happiest city

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Virgin Hodegetria

Beyond the harmony of proportions

A controversial interpretation

A new Cathedral

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Mosaic decoration

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

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

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Interior decorations

The king’s mark

The original design

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

A Northern population

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The longest aisle

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

The area of the Sanctuary

The side aisles

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The beginning of the construction site

The Great Restoration

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

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

The stone bible

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

A palimpsest of history

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

The balance between architecture and light

The Gualtiero Cathedral

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

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Squaring the circle

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Roger II’s strategic design

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Transformations over the centuries

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

The Chapel of the Kings

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Cathedral over the centuries

The rediscovered chapel

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

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The chapel of St. Benedict

A tree full of life

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The lost chapel

Under the crosses of the Bema

The decorated facade

The southern portico

The cultural substrate through time

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The Bible carved in stone

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

A space between the visible and the invisible

The cemetery of kings

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Ecclesia munita