Cefalù Cathedral

Detail

Cefalù Cathedral (Transfiguration of Our Lord) is part of the Arab-Norman Palermo route and the Cathedrals of Cefalù and MonrealeUNESCO World Heritage.

It was founded in 1130 by Roger II who, according to legend, had vowed to build it if he would be saved from a terrible storm that had hit his ship on its way to Palermo. The fury of the elements threw him on the beach of Cefalù, where the king therefore laid the first stone of the imposing construction.

It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cathedrals in the world, and an perfect example of the Norman style.

The façade is strongly characterized by the two corner towers, completed in 1240, whose massive size is lightened by single- and double-lancet windows. An airy portico with three arches was added in 1472.

The interior has three naves, marked by two rows of marble columns with seven arches resting on them. The ceiling of the nave is made of painted wood and is an important example of Islamic art in Sicily. The apse, the cross and the adjacent walls are decorated with mosaics that refer to a magnificent Cristo Pantocratore, a perfect example of pure Byzantine style and workmanship, perhaps the most sublime representation.

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