the mosaic cycle
The Palatine Chapel

The mosaics of the naves

The mosaics in the naves date back to a later period than those in the presbytery. In the two side aisles , the opus sectile decoration of the floor continues in the lower order of the walls.  A ribbon with a stylised palmette decoration of Islamic origin, also present in the Monreale Cathedral ,  forms a frame dividing the marble facing of the walls from the Byzantine mosaics, from the upper order of the naves,which retrace the stories of St. Peter and St. Paul . The representations, taken from the Acts of the Apostles, show the stories of Peter and some episodes of Paul in the north aisle, then to the left of the altar. In the south aisle,to the right of the altar, there are depictions of Peter’s escape from prison and episodes from the life of St Paul. In the nave, the stories of the Genesis are illustrated, divided on two levels.The scenes include: the Creation, Original Sin, the Great Flood, the stories of Abraham , the stories of Isaac , and the stories of Jacob . The royal throne , the symbol of temporal power, is located on the western wall, in the counter-façade.
In the upper part, there is a mosaic with a majestic depiction of Christ enthroned, between Saints Peter and Paul , with the archangels Michael and Gabriel above.The Christ Pantocrator in the Aula Regia is in dialogue with the other two representations in the apse and the dome of the Sanctuary. The juxtaposition of the two iconographies creates a division between the area dedicated to divine worship and the one referring to the King.
On either side of the spire of the royal throne, in symmetrical, mirrored tondos, are two lions, the emblem of the Norman kingdom, surrounded by an intertwining of floral motifs.

The senses tell the architecture

The loca solatiorum: dwellings for recreation, well-being and hunting

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell the historical context

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

The interior of the church

The architectural space

The return of water

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

Different styles and transformations of “one of the most beautiful monuments in the world”


The Admiral’s dedication

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

The Cassaro

the Baroque interior

The beautiful Zisa and its garden: solacium regi among sounds, colours and scents

The Royal Throne

The ancient convent of the Martorana, a history of devotion and tradition

From earthquake to collapse

the Baroque exterior

The senses tell the ceiling

The senses tell baroque decoration

Gold and light: the splendour of the mosaics in the Royal Chapel

The senses tell the interior

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

The Norman conquest of Sicily and the birth of a new Latin kingdom

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

The senses tell the historical context

The Palace of Kings

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries


The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

A building constructed in a short space of time

The mosaics of the naves

An architectural crescendo

The senses tell the flooring

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The architectural envelope: the Greek cross layout oriented towards the light

the roof of Paradise: one of the most representative works of medieval art

The senses tell restorations

The birth of the Norman kingdom

The rediscovered palace

The decorations on the bell tower