Monreale Norman Cathedral
Cathedral Monreale Mosaics
The cathedral of Monreale, outside Palermo, represents the celebration of a century of Norman continental and insular constructions. Observe outside the cathedral of King William II, it is divided into three main volumes, typical features of the Western churches in Latin cross body with three naves, a transept and the apse. Do you want to visit it with a guide? Do you need a transfer? Contact us
In the west side there are two bell towers that enclose the porch columns topped by a triangular pediment, with the typical pattern of the churches of Normandy. The surfaces of the porch were decorated with scenes from the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary to whom William II dedicated the cathedral. In the Cathedral of Monreale the arches are beyond the usual levels Normans, and mullioned windows with three lights, giving way to big mosaics (more than six thousand square meters). The quality of the mosaics is not constant because of the different expressiveness in the design, however the execution was commissioned to artists from different backgrounds, both Byzantine and local Muslims.
The drawings depict scenes from the Old and New Testaments are a theological and theophanic works in a religious order according to the Bible, beginning with the seven days of creation, and ending with the Gospel of the Apostles, who founded the Church of Christ. Everything culminates in the apse with Christ Pantocrator in the center and his heavenly court of angels, prophets and saints. Do you want to visit it with a guide? Do you need a taxi - transfer? Contact us
The ceiling with wooden trusses polychrome was rebuilt in 1816-37 after a fire in 1811. The floor with large disks of porphyry and granite and marble bands intertwined is the original and dates back to 1559. To visit the Cathedral of Monreale means visit also viist other internal works of art: three marble sarcophaguses of 1846, the remains of Marguerite of Navarre and his sons Roger and Henry, the altar to Louis IX, King of France; a marble shrine with reliefs of Gagini (Pietà, Annunciation, SS. Peter and Paul); porphyry altar with ornaments in silver and gilded bronze, the work of L. Valadier in 1771; a marble tomb of William II,, a porphyry tomb of William I of the twelfth century.The Chapel of St. Benedict (1569), built as the burial place of the Benedictines, with the altar, "Apotheosis of St. Benedict" of I. Marabitti (1766), next to the Chapel of St. Castrense in a simple style, with a picture of P. A. Novelli "S. Castrense" (XVII cent.) Near this chapel a statue of the late sixteenth century "St. John." Crossing the rich chapel of the Crucifix (on the altar crucifix of the fifteenth century) , leads to the Treasury, consisting of a baroque shrine and called the "Holy Thorn". Do you want to visit it with a guide? Do you need a transfer? Contact us.
CLOISTER OF MONREALE The space of the cloister (47 x 47 m) is located on the south side of the cathedral. The pointed arches resting on columns and open to the garden of the benedectine convent. Each side of the square is composed of 26 arches.
The order of the square space is accentuated by the inwards presence of the small cloister of the fountain. The fountain is on a a round pool from which rises a column shaped like a palm tree, topped by a sphere and reliefs of marble figures. It deserves special attention for the quality of the fine sculptures, the capitel of the Dedication (19 ° west side), where King William II offers the Cathedral to the Child Jesus in the arms of Madonna. The most sculptural motifs on the capitals reproduce the same items expressed by the mosaics inside of the Cathedral. Do you want to visit the Cathedral and Cloister with a guide? Do you need a taxi - transfer? Contact us
Frame from the movie Brother Sun, Sister Moon, directed by Franco Zeffirelli (1972)
A visit to the cloister and the Cathedral of Monreale is carried out throughout the year by appointment and is included in the tour Monreale and Catacombs of the Capuchins.