The Palatine Chapel

The senses tell the architecture

A treasure chest of light: the Palatine Chapel

The Palatine Chapel is located on the first floor of the palace, as if it were a treasure chest. Upon entering, you can see the architecture of the church, which was consecrated to St Peter on 28 April 1140. The layout, in the shape of a Latin cross, is longitudinal with three aisles separated by five pointed arches on each side, on pedestals supported by columns and capitals in a composite style. The colours of the sixteen granite and cipollino marble columns are striking.
But the real focus of the building is the presbytery, raised above the aisles, ending with the three apses, characterised by the presence, at the corners, of recessed porphyry columns typical of Islamic art. If you look up, you can see the Byzantine-style dome.
An explosion of colours floods the entire interior, where the light makes the gold and silver tiles glow

The king’s throne: luxury and power

The royal throne is located on the western wall, opposite the sanctuary. It is Romanesque in style, raised by five steps and decorated with opus sectile marble. Touching the cold marble, the porphyry stands out among all of them, a material that over the centuries became a symbol of strength and glory and that, in the throne, takes on a value of exaltation of power.

A melody that praises God

A cappella Gregorian chants echo in the sanctuary. The harmonious voices of the choir evoke timeless atmospheres, while the psalmist, from the ambo, stands out for their performance. Each voice sings in unison and then joins in a pleasant melody praising God, in an intimate and profound dialogue.

A scent of incense fills the King’s Chapel

During the celebrations the smell of incense fills the entire church. From the Sanctuary, the pleasant fragrance, typical of the Mediterranean area, spreads to the aisles, mixing with the acrid smell of the candles that illuminate the sacred building.

Intertwining of knowledge in Norman Palermo

The senses tell the flooring

The loca solatiorum: dwellings for recreation, well-being and hunting

Different styles and transformations of “one of the most beautiful monuments in the world”

The Cassaro

The Palace of Kings

The flooring: shapes, motifs and iconography

The birth of the Norman kingdom

The senses tell restorations

The senses tell the Zisa over the centuries

The mosaics of the naves

From earthquake to collapse

The return of water

The senses tell the architecture and decorations

Saint Peter’s Chapel in the Royal Palace

The rediscovered palace

The Genoard Park, the garden of pleasures and wonders

the Baroque exterior

The senses tell the historical context

The Norman conquest of Sicily and the birth of a new Latin kingdom

The senses tell the mosaic cycle

Gold and light: the splendour of the mosaics in the Royal Chapel

the Baroque interior

A building constructed in a short space of time

The mosaics of the transept and the apses

The architectural appearance and transformations over time

the roof of Paradise: one of the most representative works of medieval art

The beautiful Zisa and its garden: solacium regi among sounds, colours and scents

The interior of the church

The decorations on the bell tower

The ancient convent of the Martorana, a history of devotion and tradition

The senses tell the architecture

The senses tell the external architecture and the original layout

The senses tell the historical context

An architectural crescendo

From oblivion to the recovery of memory


The senses tell the interior

The architectural envelope: the Greek cross layout oriented towards the light

The senses tell the ceiling

The senses tell the historical context

The Royal Throne


The opus sectile floor of the Palatine Chapel

The architectural space

The Admiral’s dedication

The mosaic cycle, an ascending path towards the light

Shapes and colours of the wooden ceiling

The senses tell baroque decoration