"Monreale - Cathedral City of Sicily" Top 5 Page for this destination Monreale by Paisleypaul

Monreale Travel Guide: 61 reviews and 160 photos

Home to Sicily's most beautiful building

Great views of Palermo and the Conca d'Oro - again from atop the Cathedral ! All roads lead here in Monreale - so I will start with a corrected translation of the rather pidgin English aside the Italian at the Cathedral's entry
" The Maria La Nuova Cathedral was built between 1174 and 1176 for King William II. A Latin cross divides the floor area - 102 metres x 40 metres - into three aisles and nine columns a side. The Byzantine mosaic decorations were added from the end of the 12th until early 13th century, by skilled Venetian and Moslem craftsmen.
The mosaics (surface area > 6,300 sq.M) depict Latin and Greek Old & NewTestament scenes, with the Greek 'Pantocrator' the focal point - the blessing Christ of the central apse.
The sarcophagi of Guglielmo I & Guglielmo II are on the RHS aisle. The access to Piazza Guglielmo is through an 18th century portico twixt the two towers.
Bonanno Pisano (1186) added the 42 - panel portal-leaves ; to the left of the portico are found the Gagini Brothers (1547-1569) panels ; the work of Barisano from Trani, the 42 panels depicting Saints.

Views of Palermo and the bay

You pay something very modest - about Eu2.00 - to climb to the top of the tower with great views of Palermo

And on your way up you will pass the cloisters gardens and auxiliary buildings of the main cathedral

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Got to be seen when visitng Palermo
  • Cons:Avoide late afternoon - popular time for weddings - invivted guests only
  • In a nutshell:"He who visits Palermo without seeing Monreale leaves a donkey & comes back an ass" - proverb
  • Last visit to Monreale: Aug 2005
  • Intro Updated Sep 8, 2005
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