The Architecture of the Cathedral of Ruggero

The construction of the Cathedral of Cefalù was very complex and the initial project of king Ruggero was never finished as it is clear from many architectural details stylistically different and attributable to different construction techniques and historical periods.

The building is on a raised floor and is preceded by a large terraced churchyard, once a cemetery. The great staircase that today characterizes the Cathedral of Cefalù was built in 1851.

The facade, built by Giovanni Panittera in 1240, presents a double series of blind arches and is framed between two mighty towers, a distinctive feature of the Cathedral of Cefalù, decorated with elegant windows with two lights and one light and surmounted by lanterns with high cusps.

The cusps are different from each other for the architecture; the south cusp, with a square plan, has a pyramidal structure with battlements similar to flames that symbolize the Bishop’s mitre, so the religious power and the flame of charity; the north cusp has an octagonal plan with ghibelline battlements, representing the king’s crown and the temporal power.

The Porta Regum gives access to the Cathedral; it is surrounded by a finely sculpted marble portal, made in 1471 by Ambrogio and Antonio da Como.

The interior of the building has a latin cross plan with three naves separated by sixteen columns, eight on each side, surmounted by corinthian capitals that support pointed arches.

The ceiling has a wooden roof trusses that still preserves in some places paintings with floral and vegetable decorations of Islamic masters.

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