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.

The cultural substrate through time

The Chapel of the Kings

The towers and the western facade

A new Cathedral

A Northern population

Worship services

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The chapel of St. Benedict

The Great Restoration

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

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

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

A space between the visible and the invisible

The beginning of the construction site

The mosaics of the apses

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

A palimpsest of history

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

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

The Cathedral over the centuries

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

A controversial interpretation

Survey of the royal tombs

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

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

The Virgin Hodegetria

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

Roger II’s strategic design

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The stone bible

A tree full of life

The original design

The southern portico

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Mosaic decoration

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The Bible carved in stone

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

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

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

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

The lost chapel

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

Interior decorations

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The king’s mark

The senses tell Context 1

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

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The decorated facade

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

Palermo: the happiest city

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

Ecclesia munita

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

A remarkable ceiling

Squaring the circle

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

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The rediscovered chapel

The longest aisle

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

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

The balance between architecture and light

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Transformations over the centuries

The side aisles

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The mosaics of the presbytery

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The area of the Sanctuary

The cemetery of kings