Palace of the Normans - Royal Palace
Palatine Chapel (inside the Royal Palace)
The Palatin Chapel (Cappella Palatina) The Cappella Palatina is the royal and luxurious Chapel of the Norman Kings of Sicily, built in the ground floor and center of Palazzo Reale. The Chapel was commissioned in 1132 by king Roger II, and was built upon an older Chapel ( actually the crypt) dating 1080. It took eight years to build it and many more to complete the mosaics and beautiful arab-byzantine decorations. The church, dedicated to Saint Peter, has three apses, typical of Byzantine architecture, with six arches in the central nave, sitting on classical columns. What makes the Palatine Chapel an un unparalleled jewels in the world is the art of its mosaics, the elegance of the figures represented on the mosaic panel, their subtle colours and luminance. The most ancient are those covering the ceiling, the drum and the dom.
The mosaics of the transept instead, dating from 1140s, of Byzantine style, show scenes from the Acts of Apostles. King Roger II designed on the muqarnas ceiling in Arabic style. The other mosaics, from 1160s to 1170s, are realized in a ruder way style and have Latin and Greek elements. There are a lot of scenes more narrative than spiritual, and few mosaics about flora and animals typically of byzantinian style.
Palace of the Normans or Royal Palace of Palermo
So the Chapel represent a very elegant harmony of styles: Norman architecture and décor, Arabic Arches and scripts embelling the roof, Byzantine style in the dome and mosaics. Not to forget the Carolingian Throne, a set stage for royal reception, with balcony which permitted the king to see the religious events from there. Of great beauty and valuable art is the muqarnas ceiling where hundreds of facets were designed and painted, scenes of daily life with animals, plants and flowers and also some scenes still now not completely explained. Probably influenced by Abbasid Iraqi art, these scenes and paintings are innovative and therefore presents Characters and animals in a more realistic way.
The room of king Roger II , with its decorations representing mythological scenes and performing animals, especially the famous centaur, and peacocks, leopards, swan and deer, surrounded by natural and rich vegetation. The Palatine Church from 2002 and 2008, was restored thank to big contribution given by the German Reinhold Wurth. In all times the Chapel has been considered, for its differents spiritual and religious features, ‘’the most beautiful Church in the world, the most surprising religious jewels dreamed by human thought’’.
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More information about Palatine Chapel > official website
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