Having finally won the island of Sicily from entrenched Islamic forces after thirty years of battle, the Normans set upon creating a multicultural kingdom to inspire the world. While the Norman civilization has since faded from history, its brilliant churches, glittering with mosaic decoration, serve as enduring reminders of its greatness. They are yours to discover.
What’s in this guidebook
- Tour of the highlights. Following our tradition of being the most valuable resource for culture-focused travelers, we take a look at four 12th century Norman churches, located in and around Palermo: Cefalù Cathedral, Palatine Chapel, Martorana, and Monreale Cathedral. Wonders of engineering and design, they selectively borrow features from Sicily’s three prevailing cultures — Western Christian (Latin), Byzantine Christian (Greek), and North African Islamic — to reveal a unique and compelling aesthetic.
- Mosaic style. We detail the prevailing style and explain how it changed over time. As part of this review, we touch on relevant symbolism and the technical hurdles mosaicists encountered. In particular, you will see how Christ Pantocrator images adapt and evolve to meet new requirements. To make things come alive, we have packed our review with high-resolution images.
- Advice for getting the best cultural experience. To help you plan your visit, this guidebook supplies logistical advice, maps and links to online resources. Plus, we give our personal tips for getting the most from your experience while on location.
- Information the way you like it. As with all of our guides, this book is optimized for intuitive, quick navigation; information is organized into bullet points to make absorption easy; and images are marked up with text that explains important features.