Monreale Cathedral
the context 2

The senses tell Context 2

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

Worship services

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

The Bible carved in stone

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Survey of the royal tombs

Palermo: the happiest city

Transformations over the centuries

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The Chapel of the Kings

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The balance between architecture and light

The original design

A controversial interpretation

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Roger II’s strategic design

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

Beyond the harmony of proportions

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

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

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

The stone bible

The Cathedral over the centuries

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

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

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The longest aisle

A space between the visible and the invisible

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The decorated facade

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

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

Interior decorations

A palimpsest of history

The chapel of St. Benedict

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The beginning of the construction site

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

The Kings’ Cathedrals

A Northern population

The area of the Sanctuary

Squaring the circle

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The lost chapel

The cemetery of kings

A remarkable ceiling

The king’s mark

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The towers and the western facade

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The side aisles

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The mosaics of the apses

The southern portico

The rediscovered chapel

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Mosaic decoration

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

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

The cultural substrate through time

The senses tell Context 1

The Great Restoration

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The Virgin Hodegetria

Ecclesia munita

A new Cathedral

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

A tree full of life