The cathedral of Monreale


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.