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 Kings’ Cathedrals

Squaring the circle

The cultural substrate through time

A space between the visible and the invisible

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

A new Cathedral

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Mosaic decoration

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A tree full of life

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

The original design

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The area of the Sanctuary

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The king’s mark

The side aisles

The towers and the western facade

The lost chapel

A palimpsest of history

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

Transformations over the centuries

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

The Bible carved in stone

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

A Northern population

Ecclesia munita

Palermo: the happiest city

The Gualtiero Cathedral

A controversial interpretation

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Survey of the royal tombs

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

Under the crosses of the Bema

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The Great Restoration

The stone bible

The Chapel of the Kings

The beginning of the construction site

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The Virgin Hodegetria

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

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

The mosaics of the presbytery

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The longest aisle

A remarkable ceiling

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

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

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

The Cathedral over the centuries

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The senses tell Context 1

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

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

The balance between architecture and light

The rediscovered chapel

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

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

Worship services

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The cemetery of kings

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

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

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

Roger II’s strategic design

The mosaics of the apses

The southern portico

Interior decorations

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The decorated facade