/ / The Cathedral of Cefalu: photo, description Duomo di Cefalu)

The Cathedral of Cefalu: photo, description Duomo di Cefalu)

Cefalù Cathedral is the main Roman Catholic Church of the city, built in the first half of the 12th century in Norman style. According to legend, the vow of building this Church was given by king Roger II, who happily escaped during sea storms, moored to the shores of Cefalu. Like a fortress the majestic building is hanging over a medieval town, reflecting the vulnerability of this place the face of natural disasters. During its long history the Church has undergone several significant changes from its original appearance, little has been preserved.

The Cathedral was built on the site of an ancient settlement, which is confirmed by discoveries of the Roman road and the early Christian mosaics (6th century). Construction began in 1131, the apse mosaics and dated to the year 1145, at the same time there were placed the sarcophagi of Roger II and his wife. 1172 1215 years the Church was in a derelict state, and the Royal sarcophagi were moved to the Cathedral of Palermo. Then construction resumed - the facade was completed in 1240, and in 1267 the new Church was consecrated Archbishop of Albano. Finally, in 1472 by the architect Ambrogio da Como, between the two towers of the facade was attached to the portico.

In front of the Cathedral stretches of open space - the so-called "Turdialy", which was once the cemetery. According to legend, it was created from the earth, brought from Jerusalem, as that has a distinctive feature - a quick mummification of bodies.

The famous facade is notable for two Norman towers with arched Windows, each of which is crowned by a small spire. The portico of the 15th century, consists of three arches, the outer have a pointed form and supported by four columns. Here is the Port Regum - exquisitely decorated with marble, the Royal door with frescoes.

Inside, the Cathedral has the shape of a Latin cross, the Central nave and two side aisles, separated by a gallery of antique columns: 14 is made of pink granite and two of green Roman marble. Behind the crypt you can see a very unusual combination of styles - Romanesque, with its massive simple forms and pointed arches, which are precursors of the Gothic style.

Apparently, it was assumed that the whole interior of the Cathedral is decorated with mosaics, but they were performed only in the presbytery. For these purposes, Roger II invited artists from Constantinople, who adapted the typical Byzantine decorative art to the Norman structure. Among the mosaics stand out image of Christ Pantocrator and the virgin Mary - they are the best Byzantine mosaics in all of Italy. Also pay attention to several tombstones, including ancient sarcophagi, medieval tomb and the tomb of Bishop Castelli 18th century. The font, carved in the 12th century from a single piece of stone, decorated with four small statues of lions. Here you can see the canvas of the Madonna of the work of Antonello Gagini and a painted wooden crucifix Guglielmo da Pesaro.

The Cathedral's cloister is composed of pointed arches, each of which is based on thin twin columns. The latter have pronounced features of Byzantine architecture - they are decorated with images of lions and eagles, who look at each other.