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.

The lost chapel

The longest aisle

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

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

The Chapel of St. Mary Magdalene

Roger II’s strategic design

Cefalù: settlement evidence through time

Norman religious architecture with islamic influences in Sicily

Artistic elements in Peter’s ship

Interior decorations

Transformations over the centuries

Palermo: the happiest city

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

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

A space between the visible and the invisible

A tree full of life

The beginning of the construction site

Two initially similar towers, varied over time

Ecclesia munita

The cultural substrate through time

The senses tell Context 1

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

A mixture of styles pervades the floor decorations

The transformations of the hall through the centuries

Under the crosses of the Bema

From the Mosque to the Cathedral

The Gualtiero Cathedral

The construction of Monreale Cathedral: between myth and history

The Chapel of the Kings

Layers of different cultures decorate the external apses

The Great Restoration

The Cathedral over the centuries

The towers and the western facade

A polysemy of high-level artistic forms and content

The decorated facade

The original design

The Bible carved in stone

A cloister of accentuated stylistic variety

The king’s mark

The chapel of St. Benedict

The dialogue between the architectures of the monumental complex

The side aisles

The liturgical spaces of the protesis and the diaconicon

The Virgin Hodegetria

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

A chapel by an unknown designer based on repeated symmetries

The stone bible

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

The towers facing the facade used as bell towers

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

A controversial interpretation

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

The chorus: beating heart of the cathedral

The rediscovered chapel

The chapel of san Castrense: an important renaissance work

A Northern population

A remarkable ceiling

Characteristics of religious architecture in the romanesque period

The mosaics of the presbytery

Squaring the circle

A palimpsest of history

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

Mosaic decoration

Survey of the royal tombs

Roger II of hauteville: a sovereign protected by God

Gardens and architecture as a backdrop to the city of Palermo

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

The medieval city amidst monasticism and feudal aristocracy

Porphyry sarcophagi: royalty and power

A new Cathedral

The cemetery of kings

Worship services

The southern portico

The Great Presbytery: a unique space for the cathedral

The balance between architecture and light

Beyond the harmony of proportions

The Kings’ Cathedrals

The mosaics of the apses

The area of the Sanctuary

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

The chystro: a place between earth and sky

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