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 liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Transformations over the centuries

The mosaics of the apses

The beginning of the construction site

The rediscovered chapel

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

The original design

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The Great Restoration

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The cemetery of kings

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

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

The lost chapel

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

A Northern population

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Palermo: the happiest city

The cultural substrate through time

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The senses tell Context 1

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

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

Squaring the circle

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

Ecclesia munita

The Chapel of the Kings

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

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

The decorated facade

The side aisles

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

A space between the visible and the invisible

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Interior decorations

The longest aisle

The king’s mark

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

The Virgin Hodegetria

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

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

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

Worship services

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Mosaic decoration

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A tree full of life

The Cathedral over the centuries

A remarkable ceiling

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

The stone bible

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

A new Cathedral

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The towers and the western facade

The southern portico

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

A palimpsest of history

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The area of the Sanctuary

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The Bible carved in stone

Survey of the royal tombs

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A controversial interpretation

The balance between architecture and light

The chapel of St. Benedict