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.

A remarkable ceiling

Squaring the circle

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

Palermo: the happiest city

The Virgin Hodegetria

The side aisles

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

Roger II’s strategic design

The Bible carved in stone

Interior decorations

The mosaics of the apses

The mosaics of the presbytery

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

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

The king’s mark

The original design

Beyond the harmony of proportions

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

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

Survey of the royal tombs

The southern portico

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

Mosaic decoration

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

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

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

A controversial interpretation

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

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The stone bible

The cultural substrate through time

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

The chapel of St. Benedict

The rediscovered chapel

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

Transformations over the centuries

The Chapel of the Kings

The decorated facade

The area of the Sanctuary

The Kings’ Cathedrals

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

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

A tree full of life

The balance between architecture and light

A palimpsest of history

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

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

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

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

Worship services

The Great Restoration

A Northern population

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The senses tell Context 1

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

A space between the visible and the invisible

Ecclesia munita

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

The towers and the western facade

The cemetery of kings

A new Cathedral

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The Gualtiero Cathedral

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Cathedral over the centuries

The lost chapel

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

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

The longest aisle

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

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Under the crosses of the Bema

The beginning of the construction site

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