Monreale Cathedral
the context 2

The senses tell Context 2

sight
An important construction site

A building such as the Monreale Cathedral, outlined by a multiform stylistic syncretism, reflected a deep religious implication promoted by William II. The ruler succeeded in consolidating the Western Christian influence through a fruitful and peaceful dialogue with the Byzantine-Oriental and Muslim-Arab cultures from the very year of his coronation in 1172. Alongside the Cathedral, surrounded by a flourishing natural setting, work began on the foundation of the Royal Palace in the same year, followed in 1176 by the construction of the Benedictine Monastery adjacent to it.

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The lost chapel

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

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Transformations over the centuries

The stone bible

The mosaics of the apses

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Chapel of the Kings

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

Worship services

The balance between architecture and light

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Survey of the royal tombs

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

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

A Northern population

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The senses tell Context 1

The Kings’ Cathedrals

A new Cathedral

The mosaics of the presbytery

The cultural substrate through time

The original design

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The southern portico

Palermo: the happiest city

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

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

Squaring the circle

The Bible carved in stone

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

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

The Gualtiero Cathedral

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

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Under the crosses of the Bema

Mosaic decoration

A space between the visible and the invisible

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The cemetery of kings

Roger II’s strategic design

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

A tree full of life

The chapel of St. Benedict

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The rediscovered chapel

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Interior decorations

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

The longest aisle

A palimpsest of history

The beginning of the construction site

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

The decorated facade

A controversial interpretation

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

The Great Restoration

The side aisles

The towers and the western facade

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The area of the Sanctuary

The king’s mark

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Cathedral over the centuries

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Ecclesia munita

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

The Virgin Hodegetria

A remarkable ceiling