Si Trova: a Monreale
Lat: 38° 4' 55.12219" N - Long: 13° 17' 31.44352" E
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Dedicated to Santa Maria Nuova, belonging to the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 2015, it was built in 1174 at the behest of William II d'Altavilla.
The façade has a sixteenth-century arcade, two massive fortified towers and valuable bronze doors.
The portal is made up of forty-six panels with biblical episodes, in which some abbreviated texts explain the content of the sculpture.
The interior has three naves divided by 18 ancient Roman columns.
What is most striking about the Cathedral of Monreale, and what has given it fame, are the extremely precious mosaics that decorate its interior; you stay breathless: all the walls are covered with mosaics with a golden background.
The surface of the mosaics is about 7000 square meters and is the largest in the world.
At the center of the apse, in an absolutely dominant position, there is the famous figure of Christ Pantocrator and, below this, the Madonna surrounded by angels and apostles; further down, a crowd of saints.
In the aisles the figures tell episodes from the Old Testament: the creation of the world, Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Jacob, up to the story of Christ.
In the apses of the side aisles there are the stories and figures of St Peter and St Paul.
The stories represented by the mosaics of Monreale have didactic purposes: in a historical moment in which there were few copies of the Bible because the books were copied by hand, and when the vast majority of citizens were illiterate, the mosaic was used to visually show everyone what the priest preached and taught.
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