Cefalù Cathedral
the church hall

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

In the Baroque and Neoclassical periods, many Italian Romanesque churches were affected by stylistic transformations, which were also carried out in important Sicilian religious buildings such as the cathedrals of Palermo and Catania .
These changes also involved the interior of the Cefalù Cathedral, with the insertion of a diversified Baroque decorative arrangement in the various areas of the building.
The walls of the aisles, still unfinished pending a mosaic decoration which was never carried out, were designed and embellished, according to 18th-century style, with the insertion of a number of chapels with wall decorations consisting of friezes, pilasters, frames and stucco sculptures of classical inspiration. As a result, the side aisles were covered with a barrel vault with lunettes , concealing the original roof.
The cultural approach to restoration, which developed in the early 20th century, encouraged a series of interventions to restore the Cathedral to its original appearance. However, nothing was achieved as a result of the work, which was carried out in several stages. On the contrary, it resulted in the loss of the cathedral’s historical fabric, leaving the interior devoid of any artistic or historical dignity.
The recovery of the original formal purity of the interiors was the subject of the last restoration in the 1980s, during which the walls of the aisles were treated with monochromatic plaster, bringing it closer to the intended appearance of this sacred space. According to Roger’s plan, the walls had to accommodate a mosaic decoration with a religious theme.

The Virgin Hodegetria

The rediscovered chapel

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The area of the Sanctuary

Roger II’s strategic design

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The southern portico

A new Cathedral

Mosaic decoration

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

The stone bible

Survey of the royal tombs

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The Great Restoration

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The mosaics of the apses

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

The king’s mark

The side aisles

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Interior decorations

A palimpsest of history

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

The lost chapel

The original design

A tree full of life

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

The mosaics of the presbytery

Worship services

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The Bible carved in stone

The beginning of the construction site

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

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

The Kings’ Cathedrals

Ecclesia munita

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

A remarkable ceiling

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

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

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The balance between architecture and light

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The longest aisle

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Transformations over the centuries

The cultural substrate through time

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

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

Squaring the circle

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

The Chapel of the Kings

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The cemetery of kings

Under the crosses of the Bema

A Northern population

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

The towers and the western facade

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

A space between the visible and the invisible

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

The decorated facade

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

The senses tell Context 1

A controversial interpretation

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

Palermo: the happiest city

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

The Cathedral over the centuries