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Cathedral Church of Monreale - Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale

Monreale, Italy

Monreale Cathedral (Italian: Cattedrale di Santa Maria Nuova di Monreale; Duomo di Monreale) is a Catholic church in Monreale, Metropolitan City of Palermo, Sicily, southern Italy. One of the greatest existent examples of Norman architecture, it was begun in 1174 by William II of Sicily. In 1182 the church, dedicated to the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, was, by a bull of Pope Lucius III, elevated to the rank of a metropolitan cathedral as the seat of the diocese of Monreale, which was elevated to the Archdiocese of Monreale in 1183. Since 2015 it has been part of the Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale UNESCO World Heritage Site. The church is a national monument of Italy and one of the most important attractions of Sicily. Its size is 102 meters long and 40 meters wide. Located on the northern coast of Sicily, Arab-Norman Palermo includes a series of nine civil and religious structures dating from the era of the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194): two palaces, three churches, a cathedral, a bridge, as well as the cathedrals of Cefalú and Monreale. Collectively, they are an example of a social-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures on the island which gave rise to new concepts of space, structure and decoration. They also bear testimony to the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins and religions (Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Jewish, Lombard and French). Monreale Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Sicily. It was built in the city of Monreale in the 12th century and is a significant example of the influence of Norman architecture in Sicily.

The interior of the cathedral is covered with mosaics showing impressive images of religious scenes and other motifs. The mosaics were made by Lombard artists between 1172 and 1186 and are still as magnificent and detailed as the day they were completed.

The façade of the cathedral is also decorated with a variety of stone carvings and reliefs. They depict a variety of religious scenes, including the birth of Christ, the Last Judgement and much more.

Monreale Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Sicily and an important historical landmark in the region. It is a place of awe and wonder that attracts visitors from all over the world.