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Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedrals of Monreale and Cefalù

Palerme arabe-normande et les cathédrales de Monreale et Cefalù

The Arab-Norman itinerary of Palermo was joined to the list of UNESCO World Heritage July 3, 2015, becoming the last site to be part of the famous list. In particular, it is the city tour which includes the Royal Palace, the Palatine Chapel, St John of the Hermits, the church of the Martorana, San Cataldo, the Zisa, the Admiral’s Bridge, the Cathedral of Palermo, the cathedral of Cefalù and that of Monreale. The Norman Palace, also called Royal Palace, is located on the site that in the sixth century BC the Carthaginians chose as an important commercial basis for their maritime trade. Close to the Norman Palace, there is the church of St. John of the Hermits, a listed building, located in the center of Palermo. While, The Metropolitan Cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary of the Assumption is the main place of Catholic worship of the town. The cathedral of Cefalù was built by Roger II, and represents one of the most sublime testimony of european romanesque architecture. The building was born with romanesque style, probably imported in Sicily by Augustinian monks, but it was finished according to the demands of Islamic architecture and conditioned by Byzantine liturgical requirements. While, the cathedral of Monreale was built starting in 1174 by William II of Altavilla, King of Sicily from 1166 to 1189, it is rich in Byzantine mosaics that decorate the interior.

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