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The Cathedral of Monreale

Monreale is a town of 30,000 inhabitants in the province of Palermo, in Sicily. This town is famous for its important Cathedral, one of the most well-known example of Norman architecture in the South of Italy. With my Lomo LC-A, I took some photos of this artistic masterpiece. Read more!

Monreale is a town near Palermo, the capital city of the Region Sicily, in a fertile valley famous for the cultivation of oranges, olives, and almonds. Its Cathedral, built from 1174 to 1182, is one of the most important examples of Norman architecture in the world.

Photo by sirio174

The church’s architecture is a complex plan, with both Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic parts. It seems like two different churches put together in one unique building.

The interior of the church is a huge mosaic, 6500 square meters of extension. In the photo below you can see the central apse with a wonderful figure of Christ Pantocrator; in the other apses there are the images of St. Peter and St. Paul. The inscriptions are mainly in Latin, with few writings in Greek, explaining the subject or the saint represented in the images.

Photo by sirio174

Other mosaics represent scenes from the Old and New Testament, and the design appears to be of Byzantine origin.

Photo by sirio174

Besides the church, there is one of the finest twelfth-century cloisters, famous for the the richness and variety of its details and in an excellent state of preservation.

The beautiful geometric decoration of the cloister columns are related to the great iconoclastic Arab tradition, which has wonderfully influenced the Sicilian architecture.

If you are planning a visit to Palermo, remember to dedicate a morning to Monreale!

written by sirio174

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This is the original article written in: English. It is also available in: Português & Nederlands.