the flooring
The Palatine Chapel

The Royal Throne

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.

Royal Throne
The royal throne is located on the western wall, opposite the Sanctuary. Romanesque in style, it dates back to around the 12th century and is decorated entirely in opus sectile, an ancient technique that consisted of depicting animal or human figures and geometric elements through inlays and the use of small tiles and slabs of marble or glass paste. This technique, which is considered to be very prestigious because of the material used, was mainly used in the Middle Ages, both in paving and in wall decorations, giving a greater brilliance and a skilful interplay of colours. But even Pliny the Elder, in his Naturalis historia, mentions it because it was used in the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus in the 4th century BC. The throne of the Norman kings 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 by five steps, decorated with opus sectile floor tiles formed of semi-precious stones, from the floor level of the church, it has geometric decoration. The wall of the royal gallery consists of six 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 typical Arab origin, while the steps, floor, back and armrests have cosmatesque style inlays. The side plutei, with sectile inlays depicting quincunxes and bands with eight-pointed stars, were possibly added in the Aragonese period. On the upper part of the wall, there are decorations with intertwining floral motifs and, inside circles and in symmetrical and mirror-like positions, two majestic lions, expressions 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 of the Chapel.

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,
Christ Enthroned, between Saints Peter and Paul
Above the royal throne stands the majestic Christ Pantocrator, enthroned between Saints Peter and Paul. The iconography of the representation is purely political, since the enthroned Christ with the two saints seem to legitimise the temporal power of the sovereigns who presided over the celebrations from the throne decorated in opus sectile. St Peter and St Paul, as well as, in the upper part, the two archangels Michael and Gabriel, turn their gaze towards Christ Pantocrator, static, immobile, majestic and hieratic. The Pantocrator, from the Greek word for ruler of all things, blesses the faithful with his right hand: the two arched fingers symbolise Christ’s dual nature, divine and earthly, while the other three, joined together, are an allegory of the Holy Trinity. This hand pose was also used in ancient times by Roman emperors when they asked for silence. With his left hand he holds firmly the Gospel, depicted here as a closed volume. Christ Pantocrator, with a stern but benevolent gaze, is crowned with a crusader’s nimbus in memory of his sacrifice. He has long, flowing hair and a rosy complexion. Christ Pantocrator is the Almighty, the King of Kings. He has a golden robe, symbolic of divinity, and a blue mantle, symbolic of humanity. Golden tiles form the backdrop for the entire narrative.

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.

The return of water

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

The senses tell baroque decoration

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

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

The senses tell the ceiling

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

The senses tell restorations

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

the Baroque exterior

From earthquake to collapse

The senses tell the interior

From oblivion to the recovery of memory

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The senses tell the historical context

The senses tell the architecture

The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

The decorations on the bell tower

The mosaics of the naves

the Baroque interior

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The Admiral’s dedication

Restorations

The Royal Throne

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

The rediscovered palace

The Cassaro

The senses tell the historical context

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

The interior of the church

The Palace of Kings

The senses tell the historical context

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

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

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

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

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 architectural space

The senses tell the flooring

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

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

A building constructed in a short space of time

Decorations

An architectural crescendo

The birth of the Norman kingdom