Palermo Cathedral
The central body: the aisles

Worship services

The central hall, in the medieval period, was used for its canonical function, i.e. the place for the assembly of Christians attending the sacred functions, while the two side aisles took on the role of a service ambulatory. Until the 15th century, the interior layout of the church remained almost unchanged. It was not until the 16th century that the structure of the central body of the building was adapted to the new needs of worship, partly as a result of the Counter-Reformation .
New chapels were opened on the fronts of the aisles, and these became the passageways and resting places where people could access the places dedicated to various saints or for the conservation of relics; the central hall was also used as a venue for religious events, not necessarily related to the rite of mass. From the 17th century onwards, the interior of the cathedral, in keeping with the Baroque style of the time, was lavishly decorated with ephemeral artefacts, of great scenic effect on the occasion of major religious festivals. Embellishments and stage machinery also affected the exterior on the occasion of special ceremonies such as the “ public acts of faith ” during the Inquisition  period.

Worship services

The side aisles

A remarkable ceiling

Interior decorations

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

A palimpsest of history

The senses tell Context 1

Mosaic decoration

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Roger II’s strategic design

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

A new Cathedral

The chapel of St. Benedict

The towers and the western facade

The Great Restoration

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The decorated facade

Palermo: the happiest city

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

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

The Cathedral over the centuries

A tree full of life

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

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

The southern portico

The cemetery of kings

The stone bible

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

The area of the Sanctuary

The longest aisle

A controversial interpretation

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

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

Transformations over the centuries

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

The beginning of the construction site

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The cultural substrate through time

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Survey of the royal tombs

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

The mosaics of the apses

A Northern population

Squaring the circle

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

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The original design

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The Bible carved in stone

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

The Chapel of the Kings

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The Virgin Hodegetria

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Under the crosses of the Bema

The mosaics of the presbytery

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The king’s mark

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

A space between the visible and the invisible

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

The lost chapel

Ecclesia munita

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The balance between architecture and light

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

The rediscovered chapel