Arab-Norman Palermo Cefalù and Monreale

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Palatine Chapel 

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Palatine ChapelThe Palatine Chapel is a three-nave basilica dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. It was built at the behest of Roger II and was consecrated on April 28, 1140 as a church of the royal family.

The three naves are separated by granite and marble columns with composite capitals that support a structure of pointed arches. The dome, erected above the three apses of the sanctuary, completes the construction. The dome and bell tower were originally visible from the outside before being incorporated into the Royal Palace following subsequent constructions.

The dome, the transept and the apses are entirely decorated in the upper part with Byzantine mosaics, depicting the blessing Christ Pantocrator, the most impactful image of the chapel, the evangelists and various biblical scenes.

palatine chapel

The wooden ceiling of the central nave and the beams of the other naves are decorated with carvings and paintings in the Arab style. In each segment there are wooden stars with representations of animals, dancers and scenes from the life of the Islamic court and of paradise as described in the Koran. 



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Palatine Chapel

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