Palermo Cathedral
The Kings’ tombs

The senses tell The Kings’ tombs

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.

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.

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 side aisles

The longest aisle

The senses tell Context 1

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

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

The beginning of the construction site

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

The cemetery of kings

Palermo: the happiest city

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The cultural substrate through time

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The southern portico

The Bible carved in stone

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

The king’s mark

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Under the crosses of the Bema

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Squaring the circle

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A Northern population

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

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

Mosaic decoration

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The towers and the western facade

Interior decorations

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The lost chapel

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The original design

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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

Roger II’s strategic design

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

The Virgin Hodegetria

The Cathedral over the centuries

The decorated facade

The rediscovered chapel

A remarkable ceiling

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

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

Ecclesia munita

The chapel of St. Benedict

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The mosaics of the apses

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Transformations over the centuries

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

A tree full of life

A controversial interpretation

A palimpsest of history

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

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

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

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

The balance between architecture and light

The Chapel of the Kings

A new Cathedral

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The area of the Sanctuary

Survey of the royal tombs

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The mosaics of the presbytery

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Worship services

The Great Restoration

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

A space between the visible and the invisible

The stone bible