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marie-jose wolff | profile | all galleries >> Monreale, Sicily tree view | thumbnails | slideshow | map

Monreale, Sicily

The cathedral and its cloister represent the largest concentration of Norman, Arab and Byzantine art in one place.
The focal point of the town is its cathedral, an amalgamation of Arab, Byzantine and Norman artistic styles framed by traditional Romanesque architecture, representing the best of twelfth-century culture.
The mosaics covering the cathedral walls are one of the world's largest displays of this art, surpassed only by Istanbul's Basilica of Saint Sofia, once an Orthodox church. (Unfortunately, many of those beautiful mosaics were destroyed or whitewashed when the Turks conquered Constantinople in 1453.) Monreale's mosaics cover over six thousand square metres of the church's's interior, an area larger than those of the splendid church of Saint Mark in Venice.


Attached to the cathedral, the Benedictine cloister courtyard consists of 228 columns (paired, with four on each corner), some inlayed with Byzantine-style mosaic work, each supporting an ornately carved capital.
The capitals themselves depict scenes in Sicily's Norman history, complete with knights and kings. The style of the Norman knight figures evokes that of the knights depicted in the Bayeux Tapestry, a chronicle of the Battle of Hastings. Historians have determined the date of the introduction of heraldry (coats of arms) in Sicily by the shields of the Monreale knight figures, which lack any heraldic decoration. The capitals strongly reflect the Provencal styles of the twelfth century, and at least three of what are thought to have been five master sculptors were probably from that region.
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mosaics inside the church, bible scenes ******

Montreale
Montreale
Montreale
Montreale
Cathedral of Montreale
Cathedral of Montreale
Adam's temptation.
Adam's temptation.
bible scene # 2
bible scene # 2
Christ Pancreator
Christ Pancreator
golden mosa´cs
golden mosa´cs
Altar
Altar
the cloister
the cloister
the cloister # 2
the cloister # 2
Cloister  # 3
Cloister # 3
the cloister #4
the cloister #4
capital # 1
capital # 1
Cloister  # 5
Cloister # 5
t1%2f48%2f614948%2f4%2f109260194.d77z0UP2.jpg columns
columns
chapiteau # 2
chapiteau # 2
chapiteau # 3
chapiteau # 3
Cloister  # 6
Cloister # 6
double colonnade
double colonnade
cloister # 7
cloister # 7
a little dove, can you see it?
a little dove, can you see it?
cloister # 9
cloister # 9
cloister # 10
cloister # 10
columns # 2
columns # 2
colonnes # 3
colonnes # 3
colonnes # 4
colonnes # 4
cloitre  #11
cloitre #11
chapiteau # 4
chapiteau # 4
decorations
decorations
Monreale, the town
Monreale, the town
Palermo, view from the church.
Palermo, view from the church.
P1270050-1.JPG
P1270050-1.JPG