The Romanesque-style royal throne is located on the western wall of the chapel, dating back to the 12th century, decorated in opus sectile
. The throne is characterised by the extensive use of porphyry
, a marble which over the centuries became a symbol of strength and glory and which, in the throne, takes on the significance of exalting power. Raised five steps above ground level, it has a geometric decoration formed by squares, enclosed within a frame of porphyry slabs, and surmounted by a triangle of polychrome inlay. Inside each square are geometric and floral motifs of Arabic matrix, while the steps, floor, back and armrests have cosmatesque style inlays.
On the sides, inside circles and in symmetrical and mirror-like positions, there are two lions, the expression of royalty and power. The throne was of great importance from a political point of view. From this space, the sovereign attended liturgical celebrations and could enjoy the view of the entire mosaic cycle.Above the main hall, there is a mosaic of Christ Enthroned, between Saints Peter and Paul,
almost in an ideological dialogue with the presbytery with the Pantocrator in the centre and the two apostles in the side apses. If, in the area of the Sanctuary, Christ is glorified, in the opposite part of the hall, characterised by a more secular decoration, the king and his court are praised.Aware of his political programme to centralise power, and at the height of his reign, Roger II
, devised a precise ideological programme for his personal chapel, recalling the power of the Eastern sovereigns by adhering the decoration to precise Byzantine artistic models. The affirmation of temporal power in relation to spiritual power can also be seen in the Palatine Chapel in Aachen Cathedral, commissioned by Charlemagne
and built between 786 and 804. The westwork
, or western body of the building, is located on the smaller side of the Chapel, similar to a monumental entrance, flanked by two scalar towers. While on the outside it had a fortified appearance, inside, from the loggia, the Emperor attended church services from a position that emphasised his role.
MiC – Ministero della Cultura
Legge 77/2006 - Misure Speciali di Tutela e Fruizione dei Siti Italiani di Interesse Culturale, Paesaggistico e Ambientale, inseriti nella “Lista Del Patrimonio Mondiale”, posti sotto la Tutela dell’ UNESCO Regione Siciliana.
Assessorato dei Beni Culturali e dell’Identità Siciliana, Dipartimento dei Beni Culturali e dell’Identità Siciliana.
Parco archeologico della Valle dei Templi di Agrigento.