Cathedral of Palermo (Duomo)
Cathedral of Palermo (Duomo)
The Cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary's Assumption into heaven, is an architectural complex of different styles, attributable to the various stages of construction. Erected in 1185 by the archbishop Gualtiero Offamilio on the area of a former basilica, which the Saracens had turned into a mosque, has undergone several renovations, the latest eighteenth century, when it has radically have remade the interior design by Ferdinando Fuga. In fact, in 1767, the Archbishop had commissioned Ferdinando Fuga Filangieri a restoration of the building to reinforce the structure
The work began only in 1781, not performed by Ferdinando Fuga, but from Giuseppe Venanzio Marvuglia and lasted until the nineteenth century. The remaking of Marvuglia were actually much more invasive and radical of the Florentine, who thought rather than preserve, at least in part, the complex longitudinal aisles and the original wood ceiling.
The restoration changed the original appearance of the complex, giving the church a characteristic but not harmonizing dome, performed according to the designs of the Fugue. In this period, the valuable forum, adorned with statues and friezes, that Antonello Gagini had raised at the beginning of the sixteenth century was destroyed. Even the beautiful majolica cupolas designed to cover the aisles are dated in the work of 1781. In this cathedral, a synthesis of history and art of the last millennium, in addition to the Norman kings were also crowned Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy, and Charles III of Bourbon, prominent figures in the history of Sicily. Outside the cathedral is flanked by four towers of the Norman period, and is topped by a dome. It is connected to the south to the Archbishop's Palace with two large pointed arches on which stands the bell tower with the clock. The main facade on Via Bonello has decorations made by master masons of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The appearance comes from the presence of Gothic towers and battlements, mullioned windows and arched columns along the right side of the structure. The right side, with features turrets and Gothic-Catalan style portico built around 1465. The portal of this entrance is by Antonio Gambara, carried out in 1426. The Lady is a mosaic of the thirteenth century, the two monuments on the walls, paintings of the early eighteenth century, Charles III of Bourbon are on the right, and Vittorio Amedeo II of Savoy to the left. The apse close between the towers is the most original part of the twelfth century, while most tampered with is the left side. The south-western façade, which looks at the archbishop, should be reported to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. The interior of the Cathedral has undergone profound transformations in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. It has a Latin cross with three naves separated by pillars. In the right aisle, the first and second chapel, guard the imperial and royal tombs of the Normans, who revolves around a fictional story and full of curious interest. Roger II, king from 1130, had already decided in 1145 that the Cathedral of Cefalu, which he founded, became the mausoleum of the royal family. For this purpose he established the arrangement of two sarcophagi of porphyry, granite coming from Egypt, very valuable and of considerable hardness, the color dark red that, in antiquity, was used exclusively for the imperial commission. At his death in 1154, however, he was buried in the cathedral of Palermo in a porphyry sarcophagus from much simpler form. In 1215 Frederick II had carried the two coffins (for him and his father Henry VI) from the cathedral of Cefalu to Palermo.
The sarcophagus of Frederick II is crowned by a canopy with porphyry columns, and the urn is supported by two pairs of lions. his remains have been preserved together with Peter II of Aragon's. Other graves are those of Constance of Aragon (1183-1222), sister of the King of Aragon and wife of Frederick II, of William, Duke of Athens, son of Frederick III of Aragon, and the Empress Constance d ' Altavilla, daughter of Roger II and mother of Frederick II. On the floor of the nave was built during the most recent works, a meridian colored marble inlays representing the signs of the zodiac.
The altar of the Sacrament, rich in bronze, lapislazuli and colored marble, was built and designed by Cosimo Fanzago (seventeenth century). In the presbytery there is the beautiful wooden choir late-century Gothic-Catalan and the episcopal throne, partly reconstructed with fragments of ancient mosaics of the twelfth century. During the renovation of late eighteenth century, was in charge of the painter Mariano Rossi Sciacca to decorate the Cathedral. The frescoes, according to the original design, were to be on the apse, the vault of the choir, the cupola and the nave, and had to be ideally the re-establishment of the Christian religion in Sicily by the Normans. Mariano Rossi did not finish all the work, and even today one can admire the frescoes in the apse, which represented Robert Guiscard and Count Roger that return the church to the Bishop Nicodemus, and the vault of the choir, where he painted the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. To the right of the presbytery is the chapel of Santa Rosalia, the patron saint of Palermo, and the urn with the relics of silver, seventeenth-century work of Matteo Lo Castro, Francis Vivian Ruvolo and Giancola, carried in procession during the feast of the patron July 15 . High artistic interest is the marble statue of the Madonna and Child by Francesco Laurana, performed together with other aid in 1469, the precious holy water (on the fourth pillar) uncertain work of Gagini and the Madonna della Scala, built in 1503 to Antonello Gagini, placed on the altar of new vestry. The Treasury.
In some places, its is exposed the Treasury of the Cathedral: church vestments from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century monstrance, chalices, a breviary illuminated manuscript of the fifteenth century, the tiara of gold Constance of Aragon (taken from his tomb), a magnificent example of medieval jewelry enamels, embroidery, gems and pearls. Other precious objects, enamels, embroidery and jewelry are on display in the showcases plants. The crypt. From the left side of the cathedral will access the vault with vaults that stand on granite columns: this place of great beauty contains the tombs and sarcophagi from the Roman era. Among the celebrities who reside in the crypt, there is Archbishop John Paterno, who died in 1511, a patron of Antonello Gagini which he carved the lying touching figure. The excursions to the Cathedral of Palermo are made throughout the year.
Official Cathedral of Palermo website > www.cattedrale.palermo.it
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