Palermo Cathedral
The great Presbytery and the apses

The senses tell the great Presbytery and the apses

The marble tribune

In 1509, Antonello Gagini began one of his career’s greatest works: the marble tribune for the central apse of the Cathedral. Even though the majestic creation can no longer be admired following the restorations in the 18th century, in past centuries the faithful who flocked to the cathedral could gaze upon the Sanctuary and contemplate a timeless wonder, the fruit of the ingenuity and mastery of one of the greatest sculptors of the 16th century.

Incense and candles: all ready for the celebration

The spicy scent of incense fills the area of the Sanctuary, where the priest is preparing to begin the Sacred Celebration. The faithful kneel in prayer while a deacon lights candles that create a soft interplay of light.

The durability of the material

The Palermo Cathedral, like that of Cefalù, was designed as an ecclesia munita. For this reason, a system of passages was created, inside the walls and in the upper parts, as patrol walkways, protected by elegant battlements placed at the top of the building. In the area of the Presbytery, these passages were also opened up to the interior of the church, with a colonnaded loggia, built of terracotta bricks, with lily capitals, covered with red and green painted plaster.

Echoes of the Choir

The Cathedral Choir can be found in the large Presbytery, a row of chiselled wooden stalls, built in the Catalan Gothic style in 1466. The first two stalls, on the right and left, are reserved for the Bishop and the Cathedral’s Ciantro. The Cathedral Chapter, consisting of the canons, sits in the choir and during the Easter Vigil they sing the Exsultet, which echoes throughout the church with majestic solemnity.

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

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The stone bible

The king’s mark

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

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The mosaics of the apses

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The side aisles

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

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Under the crosses of the Bema

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

The decorated facade

The lost chapel

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Mosaic decoration

A remarkable ceiling

The cultural substrate through time

The towers and the western facade

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

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

A palimpsest of history

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Roger II’s strategic design

The area of the Sanctuary

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

The Cathedral over the centuries

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

A Northern population

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The mosaics of the presbytery

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

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

Interior decorations

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

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The Chapel of the Kings

Ecclesia munita

The Great Restoration

The balance between architecture and light

The cemetery of kings

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

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A space between the visible and the invisible

The Bible carved in stone

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

The rediscovered chapel

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Palermo: the happiest city

A controversial interpretation

The chapel of St. Benedict

Squaring the circle

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The beginning of the construction site

A new Cathedral

The Virgin Hodegetria

Transformations over the centuries

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

Survey of the royal tombs

The southern portico

The senses tell Context 1

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The original design

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

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

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

A tree full of life

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The longest aisle

Worship services

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work