Monreale Cathedral, Sicily

Monreale Cathedral, Sicily

Europe, Italy, Monreale, Sicily
Sunday, December 28, 2014

In these last months, I’ve seen more churches than I can count. From St. Peters to Santa Maria Assunta in Genova, religious buildings can be understood and hold more architectural insight than simply being a “church,” but of course you can never doubt their beauty. During our stay in Sicily, we were advised to visit a church whose interior was “fully covered in gold.” Convinced by that description, we we drove our little Fiat about 20 minutes inland from Palermo, after a visit to Mondello, to Monreale.

We got to the town around 5 pm, just as the last rays of sun were filtering into the church and illuminating it’s interior. It was incredible to say the least. Millions of tiny gold tiles seemed to make a seamless gold volume, inlaid with the tale of creation along the nave. The Byzantine-style images included a scene from the great flood, and Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. There are many Arabic influence in the church; for example, the geometrically coffering of the ceiling that is detailed with gold.

This is a nice 2-3 hour adventure to do near the end of the day while visiting Palermo. Once the sun has set and you’re driving back down the valley, you get an incredible view of the valley and Palermo along the coast in the distance.

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