The cathedral of Monreale is one of the island's greatest Norman buildings. It dates to the twelfth century, when the Norman king William II, known as William the Good, founded a Benedictine monastery here; this Duomo was its abbey.
The upper part of the cathedral's interior is completely covered in gleaming gold mosaics; more than 6,000 square meters of mosaic. The combination of Norman, Byzantine and Islamic art and architecture here is a spectacular demonstration of the influences which created Sicily's most glorious era. In the apse, above the altar, the greatest image is of Christ Pantokrator, draped in a blue robe, his hand raised in blessing. The central nave is lined with pictures from the Old Testament.