The Cathedral of Monreale, sitting majestically on a hill overlooking Palermo is not to be missed.
Built in the 12th century, the cathedral and its cloister represent the largest concentration of Norman, Arab and Byzantine art in one building.
We arrive in Piazza Guglielmo where magnificent bronze doors adorn the front of the cathedral.
These bronze doors, made by Bonanno Pisano in 1186 are divided into 42 panels depicting scenes from the Bible.
Walk past the entrance in Piazza Vittorio Emanuele to the street behind the Duomo, to see the intricate stone work on the outside of the apse.
Inside, the gold mosaics take your breath away as they shimmer in the dappled light.
The most important figure is the mosaic of Christ located in the central apse over the alter.
The size of the mosaic is deceptive. The figure of Christ is actually thirteen metres wide and seven metres high. The bridge of the nose is one metre long.
In the two smaller apse in the transept are mosaics of numerous other saints and scenes from the Gospels.
The 12th century mosaics throughout the interior depict biblical and other religious events with the Old Testament on the walls of the central nave and the life of Jesus depicted on the side aisles. These mosaics cover six thousand square metres of the church’s’s interior.
Whilst you’re here, don’t miss seeing the Cloisters with it’s covered walkway and beautiful Arabian fountain.
The 389 bus to Monreale departs from Piazza Indipendenza.