Palermo Cathedral
The Kings’ tombs

The senses tell The Kings’ tombs

sight
The Kings’ Rest

The Chapel of the Royal Tombs houses the tombs of Roger II, Constance of Hauteville, Henry VI of Swabia, Frederick II and Constance of Aragon. Four sarcophagi are placed in corresponding areas of the chapel, with those of Roger II and Constance of Hauteville in the background, and the funerary monuments of Frederick II and Henry VI in the foreground. Frederick II’s first wife, Constance of Aragon rests in a late antique white marble sarcophagus, decorated with an exciting hunting scene, set into the right wall of the Chapel of the Royal Tombs.

touch
A royal material: porphyry

The sarcophagi, used as burial places by Roger II, Constance of Hauteville, Henry VI and Frederick II, were carved using elements of red porphyry, a symbol of royalty and power. Used by the Egyptians and during the Ptolemaic dynasty, after the conquest of Egypt by Augustus, porphyry also became a prerogative of the emperor in Rome. Difficult to work with due to its durability, porphyry continued to be used in the Middle Ages, where it embodied the colour of power.

smell
A rose for the emperor

Tourists from all nations, history buffs, the merely curious and schoolchildren are never at a loss in the Chapel of the Royal Tombs inside the Cathedral. Visiting the great rulers of the past means getting in touch with the past, reconstructing their history and exploits. An experience that is certainly unique and that is possible in Palermo. Perhaps this is why there are always fragrant red roses on the tomb of Frederick II, the emperor known as Stupor Mundi.

The king’s mark

The Great Restoration

A new Cathedral

The decorated facade

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

The cemetery of kings

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The stone bible

A controversial interpretation

The side aisles

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

The senses tell Context 1

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

A space between the visible and the invisible

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

A Northern population

The Bible carved in stone

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

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

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

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

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

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

Squaring the circle

The lost chapel

Mosaic decoration

The Cathedral over the centuries

Transformations over the centuries

Palermo: the happiest city

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The longest aisle

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The rediscovered chapel

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The Chapel of the Kings

The beginning of the construction site

A remarkable ceiling

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The Kings’ Cathedrals

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The mosaics of the presbytery

Worship services

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The mosaics of the apses

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A palimpsest of history

The cultural substrate through time

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Interior decorations

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Ecclesia munita

The towers and the western facade

The original design

The southern portico

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The Virgin Hodegetria

The area of the Sanctuary

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

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

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The Gualtiero Cathedral

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

Survey of the royal tombs

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Under the crosses of the Bema

The balance between architecture and light

Roger II’s strategic design

A tree full of life

The transformations of the hall through the centuries