Lat: 38° 6' 52.10739" N - Long: 13° 21' 21.03311" E
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All Palermo is proud of its Cathedral; a monument that contains a lot of the history of the capital of Sicily, as well as of Sicily itself, included in 2015 in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It was erected in 1184 by Archbishop Gualtiero Offamilio.
Over the centuries there were various alterations that changed the original appearance.
The main façade has fourteenth and fifteenth century decorations.
Some towers with mullioned windows and small columns, and arched battlements give it a gothic look.
The advanced turrets and a large portico in Gothic-Catalan style are characteristic.
The apsidal part between the small towers is the most original of the twelfth century, while the most tampered part is the left side.
In the right aisle, the first and second chapel, guard the imperial and royal tombs of the Normans, Swabians and Aragonese of Sicily.
Among the various graves, the red porphyry of the Emperor Frederick II "Stupor mundi".
Federico's tomb is surmounted by four columns and has statues of four lions supporting the urn.
Along with those of Frederick II, the remains of Peter II of Aragon have also been preserved.
The other graves are those of Roger II, Emperor Henry VI, father of Frederick II, of Constance of Aragon (1183-1222), sister of the King of Aragon and wife of Frederick II, of William, Duke of Athens son of Frederick III of Aragon, and of Empress Constance Hauteville, daughter of Roger II and mother of Frederick II.
On the floor of the central nave, a marble sundial with colored inlays representing the zodiacal signs was created during modern renovations.
In the presbytery there is a beautiful late-fifteenth-century wooden choir in Gothic-Catalan style and the episcopal throne, partly recomposed with fragments of ancient mosaics from the 12th century.
In the frescoes in the apse basin are represented Roberto il Guiscardo and Count Ruggero who return the church to the bishop Nicodemus, and in those of the vault of the choir the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is painted.
To the right of the presbytery is the chapel of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo, with relics and the silver urn, a seventeenth-century work.
It is also possible to visit the "treasure of the cathedral": sacred vestments from the 16th to the 18th century, frontals, monstrances, chalices, a illuminated fifteenth-century breviary, the golden tiara of Constance of Aragon, a splendid example of medieval jewelery with enamels, embroidery, gems and pearls.
From the left side of the cathedral the crypt is accessed, a mysterious and evocative place, which preserves some tombs (including the one of Gualtiero Offamilio, the archbishop who built the cathedral) as well as inscriptions and sarcophagi from the Roman age.
In this cathedral the Norman, Swabian and Aragonese rulers were crowned as well as Victor Amadeus II of Savoy and Charles III of Bourbon.
Open from 07:00 to 19:00.
Time of Masses: weekdays 7:30 am and 6:00 pm, public holidays 8:45 am, 9:45 am, 11:00 am, 6:00 pm
What happened in Sicily: 23 September
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