Monreale: what to see, the Cathedral on the slopes of Mount Caputo
Places to see in Monreale, a charming town situated a few kilometers away from Palermo, a town of great tourist interest for the grandiose of Norman present, including the famous cathedral.
The Cathedral of Monreale, whose construction was begun by William II and whose work began in 1174, still preserves its former glory.
In front is fine display the relevant century portico with three arches pattern, topped by a balustrade and between two square towers. The ogival portal presents bronze doors, attributed to Bonanno Pisano, showing biblical scenes in relief.
The interior shows to visitors a spectacle of certain beauty, majestic and impressive at the same time, with walls covered almost entirely by beautiful mosaics, with ceiling beams where discoveries are all painted, with the floor of porphyry and granite.
The mosaics are the greatest figurative mosaics existing in Italy and the largest in the world after the Church of St. Sophia in Constantinople, which covers an area of over 6400 square meters, more than two thousand meters higher than that of the Basilica of San Marco in Venice , inserted in the body of a monumental temple which is classified as a jewel of art unique in the world, immersed in an enchanting setting of amazing natural beauty.
Each area of the temple is decorated with figures and artistic reasons, immersed on the golden background characterized by a particular brightness, which are divided into 130 paintings narrating the divine will for universal salvation.
The series of paintings kicks off with the representation of the story of Creation and the patriarchs Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
In the walls of the nave, separated into 42 panels, the artists of the time depicted episodes from the Old Testament, starting with the creation of the world as described in the book of Genesis.
In the central apse is the effigy of the Pantocrator, or the Almighty, derived from that of Cefalu. Of great value are also the main altar in silver and bronze by Valandier, the treasure reliquaries in large numbers, and, in the chapel of St. Benedict, a Glory of St. Benedict, a work of 1776 Ignatius Marabitti.
From the terraces of the Duomo, which is accessed by a door located at the beginning of the right aisle, you can admire the Conca d’Oro.
On the right of the cathedral is the cloister of the twelfth century, consists of a square with sides 47 meters long and a porch bordered by arches supported by 228 columns and variously ornamented with carved reliefs.