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 Kings’ Cathedrals

The Chapel of the Kings

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

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

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The senses tell Context 1

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The original design

Transformations over the centuries

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The cultural substrate through time

The chapel of St. Benedict

A Northern population

The cemetery of kings

A new Cathedral

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

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

Mosaic decoration

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A space between the visible and the invisible

The balance between architecture and light

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

The Great Restoration

A palimpsest of history

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

A controversial interpretation

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

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

Interior decorations

The beginning of the construction site

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

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

The king’s mark

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

The towers and the western facade

The stone bible

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

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

A tree full of life

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

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

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

The decorated facade

The Virgin Hodegetria

Roger II’s strategic design

The side aisles

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Ecclesia munita

The rediscovered chapel

Under the crosses of the Bema

The mosaics of the apses

The lost chapel

The southern portico

A remarkable ceiling

Squaring the circle

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Worship services

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Survey of the royal tombs

Palermo: the happiest city

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The Bible carved in stone

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The area of the Sanctuary

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The Cathedral over the centuries

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The longest aisle

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

The mosaics of the presbytery