Palermo Cathedral
St. Mary Magdalene

The senses tell St. Mary Magdalene

The treasure of the Cathedral

The shrines that hold the Cathedral’s treasure shine. Visiting the rooms is like travelling back in time and reliving a never forgotten past. The crown, three gold rings with precious stones and a plaque found in the tomb of Frederick II’s first wife, Constance of Aragon, can still be admired today. There are also: an ivory shrine; two polygonal medallions; a silver and gilded bronze shrine; a silver chalice; a gilded bronze and pierced silver shrine from the Gothic period; the Carondolet antependium in silk, velvet and gold; the Peace of St. Luke; the chalice of Charles III of Spain; an embossed and chiselled silver shrine containing the wood of the Holy Cross; the Barbavara chalice and the Soledad chalice.

Gold and precious stones

The crown of Constance of Aragon, dating back to approximately 1222, was made by the Tiraz of the Royal Palace. The crown, a symbol of luxury and royalty, has side pendants; the cloth cap is embellished with a fine vermicular gold filigree, raw gems collected in baskets and strings of beads elegantly surrounding the enamels. The materials are those worthy of a queen: gold, silver, silk, enamel, pearls, precious stones.

A palimpsest of history

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

A Northern population

The Chapel of the Kings

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Beyond the harmony of proportions

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

The beginning of the construction site

The Gualtiero Cathedral

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

A new Cathedral

A controversial interpretation

The balance between architecture and light

The senses tell Context 1

Mosaic decoration

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

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

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Squaring the circle

Interior decorations

A tree full of life

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

The cultural substrate through time

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

The king’s mark

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The original design

The area of the Sanctuary

The side aisles

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Roger II’s strategic design

The longest aisle

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The Cathedral over the centuries

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Palermo: the happiest city

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Ecclesia munita

A space between the visible and the invisible

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The cemetery of kings

Transformations over the centuries

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The southern portico

The Bible carved in stone

The towers and the western facade

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The decorated facade

The chapel of St. Benedict

The stone bible

Survey of the royal tombs

The Great Restoration

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

A remarkable ceiling

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Under the crosses of the Bema

The lost chapel

Worship services

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The rediscovered chapel

The Virgin Hodegetria

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

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

The mosaics of the apses

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

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

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