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.

The area of the Sanctuary

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The rediscovered chapel

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The Great Restoration

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The mosaics of the presbytery

A space between the visible and the invisible

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

The side aisles

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The senses tell Context 1

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The cultural substrate through time

A tree full of life

Interior decorations

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Mosaic decoration

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

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Transformations over the centuries

The stone bible

A Northern population

The Chapel of the Kings

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

The mosaics of the apses

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

A palimpsest of history

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

The lost chapel

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Ecclesia munita

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

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The balance between architecture and light

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

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

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The beginning of the construction site

The Virgin Hodegetria

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The southern portico

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The Cathedral over the centuries

The cemetery of kings

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The king’s mark

The original design

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Bible carved in stone

The towers and the western facade

A controversial interpretation

Worship services

Survey of the royal tombs

Palermo: the happiest city

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

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Roger II’s strategic design

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

Squaring the circle

The longest aisle

A remarkable ceiling

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

The decorated facade

A new Cathedral