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.

Bronze doors at Monreale Cathedral
Bronze doors

 
Two of the bronze panels on the doors at Monreale Cathedral
Two of the bronze panels

 
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.
Exterior view of Monreale Cathedral from Via Del Arcivescovado
Exterior view from Via Del Arcivescovado

 
Inside, the gold mosaics take your breath away as they shimmer in the dappled light.
Monreale's Cathedral Apse

The view towards the main apse

 
 
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.

The Apse Mosaic of Christ the Pantocrator in the Monreale Cathedral
The Apse Mosaic of Christ the Pantocrator

 
In the two smaller apse in the transept are mosaics of numerous other saints and scenes from the Gospels.
St Thomas à Becket in the Monreale Cathedral
St Peter

 
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.
View of the mosaics in the Nave of the Monreale Cathedral
View of the mosaics in the Nave

 
 
Mosaics in a corner of the Nave of the Monreale Cathedral
Mosaics in a corner of the Nave

 
The central apse showing the ceiling detail of Monreale Cathedral
The central apse showing the ceiling detail

 
Whilst you’re here, don’t miss seeing the Cloisters with it’s covered walkway and beautiful Arabian fountain.
 
Note:
The 389 bus to Monreale departs from Piazza Indipendenza.