The Duomo di Monreale is a rare example of Byzantine architecture, located in the Sicilian Palermo area. This astonishing cathedral, devoted to Santa Maria Nuova has been built between 1172 and 1267 according to the will of Guglielmo II D'Altavilla, king of Sicily during that period.
What makes this cultural and architectural treasure famous is its golden mosaics decorating the interiors of the cathedral. Let’s have a tour of this beautiful monument!
Discover the charming exterior decorations of the Duomo di Monreale
All along the cathedral structure you can admire beautiful portals and facades, the partial view in picture depicts the apse facade area.
All this decorations reveal the Norman heritage of the cathedral, especially for the arches and the beautiful complex of concentric circles and geometrical shapes.
The use of sequences made of 3 pointed arches gives to the apse facade an Arabic atmosphere, highlighted by the combination of white calcareous and black igneous stones.
Admire the beautiful portals and the main facade of this opulent cathedral
All along the main facade you will find beautiful portals and decorations dating back to different eras. The main facade is located between two towers facing a quadrangular square, before the entrance you will find a baroque portico, an amazing triumph of art.
The portal you can see in the picture made by Bonanno Pisano is dating back to 1185. Admire the craftsmanship of this bronze arch surrounding the main door.
Before enjoying the beautiful interiors make sure to have a tour around the cathedral’s exteriors, you will be amazed by the beauty of this religious building.
Be astonished by the brightness of the golden mosaics inside the cathedral
The complex of golden mosaics in picture depicting Jesus Christ in its centre is one of the most famous picture of all Byzantine art style.
The final salvation and the comprehension of the cosmic order are the fil rouge of this rare example of Byzantine art: indeed, the complex of mosaics leads to a specific, full of meaning image of Christ Pantocrator.
Mosaics are dated around XII and XII century and made by several local and Venetian artists. Inside the Cathedral you will enjoy 42 panels, 24 medallions, 3 chapels and several different images depicting scenes and characters by Gospels and Bible.
The Duomo di Monreale is a unique religious building where several art styles as Byzantine, baroque, Neo Gothic and Arab are combined in order to create an amazing masterpiece. From the cathedral’s interior, you will have access to the courtyard and the main tower.
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Find the Cathedral courtyard and be amazed by its beautiful colonnade
The Duomo di Monreale courtyard is one of the treasures of this opulent religious building. Built around the XII century and belonging to the Benedictine convent, it is a triumph of Byzantine art.
The colonnade is the most impressive element: every column is decorated with different illustrations of biblical scenes, golden and colored mosaics, stone carvings and golden inlays.
Columns are different in size, shape and materials, they could be tortile or straight and made of marble, granite, porphyry etc. The fountain you can see in the picture is the best spot inside the courtyard, here water came by a carved column depicting a stylized palm.
Enjoy the Duomo di Monreale and find all its astonishing treasures
Discovering the Duomo di Monreale and all its treasures will be an unforgettable experience during your trip in Sicily. This beautiful cathedral is also one of the monuments taking part of the Arabic and Norman path UNESCO World Heritage since 2015.
At the Duomo di Monreale you can also visit the main tower and after hundreds of stairs you will get to an incredible view on Mont Caputo and its landscape.
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