At first glance, the western façade of the Cathedral has a compositional structure that is independent from the rest of the building, as if it were a fortress and a transversal link to the two towers surrounding it.
The massive vertical momentum of the towers and the fact that they belong to the Norman period, however, still conceals an Islamic military reference to the presence of tall square parallelepipeds crowned by smaller structures. Taking a closer look at the imposing and compact profile of the cathedral towers, which dominate the landscape of the city, the original defensive function of the area entrusted to them becomes evident.
The tolling of the bells calls the faithful to morning mass. A small group of people begin to gather in the churchyard in front of the Cathedral. They are fishermen who, having spent the night at sea, are preparing to receive the Eucharist and thank God for the goods he has granted them.
The life of the Cathedral is also narrated through frescoes preserved within the walls of functional places, such as the towers, which are not always used to exalt beauty. Getting closer and touching the precious frescoes with your hand, you notice that the weather has compromised the legibility of the painting. Originally, there were five dynastic and regal scenes celebrating the rulers of Sicily. The first scene depicts Roger II holding the Holy Trinity with one hand. The Saviour, the religious building and, with the other hand, the cartouche relating to the privileges with which he had endowed it.
The figure of William I occupied the second panel in memory of the confirmation of privileges, to which the donation of the Syracuse Church of St Lucia was also added. King William II, whose actions validated the privileges bestowed on the Church by his ancestors, stood out in the third panel. A further confirmation of the ancient privileges occupied the upper panel with the figure of Constance, who also offered the village of Odosuer as a gift to the Cathedral. The fifth scene reverses the compositional theme of the preceding scenes, as it contains a political claim represented by the presence of Frederick II of Swabia, who drives Bishop Giovanni away from the Temple of Cefalù.