Cefalù Cathedral
context 3

The senses tell the context 3

sight
A majestic rock mass

The Cefalù Cathedral stands out on a terrace perched on the imposing rock mass stretching out towards the sea and embraced by the jagged peaks of the Sicilian Apennines between the Nebrodi and Madonie mountains. If we look at the rest of the landscape, a sequence of silhouettes comes to life, built at different times and hierarchically dependent on the cathedral. These include the cloister, the bishop’s palace, the seminary with its adjoining courtyard and the Turniale, which dates from a later period, and are distributed along the northern side of the church. The latter appears as a large embankment functioning as a churchyard, also used as a burial place.

Squaring the circle

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A new Cathedral

The Bible carved in stone

The towers and the western facade

A controversial interpretation

The side aisles

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The mosaics of the presbytery

The decorated facade

The beginning of the construction site

The cemetery of kings

The original design

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The Great Restoration

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The area of the Sanctuary

The longest aisle

Under the crosses of the Bema

A Northern population

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

Transformations over the centuries

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The balance between architecture and light

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The Cathedral over the centuries

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Survey of the royal tombs

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

Interior decorations

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

The lost chapel

Ecclesia munita

The southern portico

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A space between the visible and the invisible

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

The cultural substrate through time

The Chapel of the Kings

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

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Mosaic decoration

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The rediscovered chapel

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The mosaics of the apses

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The senses tell Context 1

A tree full of life

The Virgin Hodegetria

The stone bible

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The chapel of St. Benedict

A remarkable ceiling

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

Worship services

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

A palimpsest of history

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Palermo: the happiest city

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

The king’s mark

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

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God