When I first arrived in Palermo, what captured me the most is how this city echoed its Arabic heritage. I felt like I was taken to another continent, I was not in Europe anymore. This trip is a real plus to my Italian excursion as I felt totally transported elsewhere than Europe without having to endure a long and dragging journey.
The architecture in Palermo is rich, a mixture of Eastern ornaments and Western classics. With a hot scorching day, walking under the sun, the Cathedral of Palermo was my ideal shelter.
The cathedral’s construction was held under the Anglo-Norman archbishop and King William II’s minister, Walter Ophamil. After the conquest of the city in the 9th century, it was turned into a mosque by the Saracens.
The famous Gothic-Catalan styled façade done by Italian sculptor, Antonello Gagini and his father Dominico in the 16th century.
The Cathedral also has a small museum, The Cathedral Treasury (Tesoro) which house fine crafted religious object such as goblets, vestments and the famous crown of Constance of Sicily, founded in her tomb in 1491. The inside of ths cathedral is mainly 18th century baroque, with a lot of ornate marble, stone inlay work and marble floors.
The Cathedral also has a heliometer (solar “observatory”) of 1690, one of a number built in Italy in the 17th and 18th centuries. The purpose of the instrument was to standardise the measurement of time and the calendar.
Beautiful sculptures and vaults at the cathedral
The bright Sicilian sun enhanced the exquisite decoration of the cathedral. This is definitely an absolute architecture gem of Sicliy, a must-see!
Cattedrale Palermo, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 90040 Palermo, Italy
Opening Hours : Monday to Sunday (9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)