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 chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The cultural substrate through time

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

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

Mosaic decoration

The decorated facade

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

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

Palermo: the happiest city

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

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

The Great Restoration

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The stone bible

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

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

A palimpsest of history

The balance between architecture and light

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

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

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

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The mosaics of the presbytery

A new Cathedral

A Northern population

A tree full of life

Survey of the royal tombs

The Chapel of the Kings

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The southern portico

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The original design

The beginning of the construction site

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Roger II’s strategic design

Under the crosses of the Bema

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

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

The mosaics of the apses

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

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

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The longest aisle

The Bible carved in stone

Transformations over the centuries

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The senses tell Context 1

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

The rediscovered chapel

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

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

A space between the visible and the invisible

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The cemetery of kings

Squaring the circle

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

A remarkable ceiling

The king’s mark

The towers and the western facade

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The lost chapel

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The Cathedral over the centuries

Ecclesia munita

The area of the Sanctuary

A controversial interpretation

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The chapel of St. Benedict

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Worship services

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The Virgin Hodegetria

The side aisles

Interior decorations