- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
- Italian Phrases
Monreale's splendid cathedral is lavishly executed with mosaics depicting events from the Old and New Testaments. After the Norman conquest of Sicily the new princes showcased their ambitions through monumental building projects. William II (1154-89) built the church complex with a cloister and palace between 1174 and 1185, employing Byzantine craftsmen. The result was a glorious fusion of Eastern and Western influences, widely regarded as the finest example of Norman architecture in Sicily.
The major attraction is the 68,220 square feet of glittering gold mosaics decorating the cathedral interior. Christ Pantocrator dominates the apse area; the nave contains narratives of the Creation; and scenes from the life of Christ adorn the walls of the aisles and the transept. The painted wooden ceiling dates from 1816-37. The roof commands a great view (a reward for climbing 172 stairs).
Bonnano Pisano's bronze doors, completed in 1186, depict 42 biblical scenes and are considered among the most important of medieval artifacts. Barisano da Trani's 42 panels on the north door, dating from 1179, present saints and evangelists.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- $1799 -- 7-Nt. Luxe French & Italian Riviera Cruise, 70% Off Windstar Cruises
Above is a blog that I hope will be entertaining and helpful to anyone who might be interested in backpacking across the continent. This is specifically for anyone who's Read more
Hi Fodorites! Read more
My friend and I will be spending 2 weeks in Europe next month. Read more
· News & Features
We're sure your friends' Instagram photos of their puppies are super cute, but Brad Tully's animal snaps... Read more
From major airline uniform upgrades to tips from the jet set on doing Paris right, this was a very chic... Read more
The curious and daring among you will discover the vibrant, gilded landscape of Istanbul, the city tha... Read more