Cefalù Cathedral
context 3

The senses tell the context 3

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

Transformations over the centuries

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

A Northern population

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Ecclesia munita

The longest aisle

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A new Cathedral

A tree full of life

A remarkable ceiling

The king’s mark

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

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The towers and the western facade

The Chapel of the Kings

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The beginning of the construction site

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The Great Restoration

The senses tell Context 1

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The area of the Sanctuary

The mosaics of the apses

Under the crosses of the Bema

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

Survey of the royal tombs

The Virgin Hodegetria

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The chapel of St. Benedict

The cemetery of kings

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

Worship services

The lost chapel

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Squaring the circle

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The original design

Interior decorations

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A space between the visible and the invisible

The stone bible

A controversial interpretation

The southern portico

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The Cathedral over the centuries

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

Mosaic decoration

The balance between architecture and light

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The mosaics of the presbytery

Palermo: the happiest city

The rediscovered chapel

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

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The side aisles

The decorated facade

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

A palimpsest of history

The Bible carved in stone

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

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

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

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