Palermo Cathedral, Palermo

Palermo Cathedral, Palermo (must see)

In 831 Arab conquerors noted the presence of a great "infidel temple" on the present-day site of Palermo Cathedral. They promptly turned the infidel temple into the Great Mosque. Then, in 1072, along came Roger I and the Normans and the Great Mosque turned back into a Christian church. Roger II was crowned in this early Palermo Cathedral.

The present Palermo Cathedral has a history of changes, additions and restorations that have given it a mixture of architectural styles. The cathedral was erected in 1185 by Walter Ophamil. Walter was the Anglo-Norman archbishop of Palermo and minister to King William II. Walter's remains currently lie in the Cathedral's crypt.

The entrance to the Cathedral is on the Matteo Bonello Street. The Gothic portal of the entrance is framed by two towers. Above the portal is a niche holding a 15th century Madonna. The broad Gothic portico of the main entrance is on the south side. It has turrets in a Gothic-Catalan style and three arcades, built in 1465.

The interior is planned as a Latin cross. There is a nave and two aisles separated by pilasters. The royal tombs are in chapels on the right.

The treasures of the cathedral are sacred vestments of the 16th and 18th centuries, monstrances, chalices, a breviary of 15th century miniatures and a gold tiara belonging to Constance of Aragon.

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Palermo Cathedral on Map

Sight Name: Palermo Cathedral
Sight Location: Palermo, Italy (See walking tours in Palermo)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Palermo, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Palermo

Create Your Own Walk in Palermo

Creating your own self-guided walk in Palermo is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Religious Buildings

Historical Religious Buildings

Religion has always played an important role in the lives of the Italians – and the Sicilians are no exception. Thus, it is little wonder that the main city of the island, Palermo, boasts a plethora of religious buildings. The collection of historical churches found here ranges from the Arab-Norman-Byzantine to the Medieval, Gothic, Baroque and the Renaissance.

In the course of history, many...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 Km or 2 Miles
Palermo Introduction Walking Tour

Palermo Introduction Walking Tour

Around 8,000 BC, people called Sicani drew pictures in a cave outside Palermo. The scene shows a ritual sacrifice in the theatre. Was it a paleolithic foreshadowing of the temples, churches, and cathedrals to come?

The Sicani were succeeded by the Phoenicians. They made a settlement called Ziz which eventually became Palermo. But first, the Greeks, followed by the Carthaginians, followed by the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Palaces of Palermo

Palaces of Palermo

For centuries, Sicilian capital Palermo has been a focal point for the construction of noble dwellings and palaces. The latter were and still are a fine manifestation of the historical life in the region. They are a few hundred of them still in place, ranging chronologically from the medieval period to the first decades of the 20th century, and comprising an impressive collection of architectural...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 Km or 1.6 Miles