Skip menu

Cattedrale di Monreale

Overview

The record-setting mosaics in the William II monument

Overlooking the small Piazza Guglielmo II in the village of Monreale stands a Cathedral of the same name that is an undisputed jewel of Norman art. According to legend, Our Lady appeared to William II in a dream and showed him where to build the church. In reality, the construction of the church was driven by rivalry between Gualtiero Offamilio, archbishop of Palermo, and William II, who saw the monumental complex as a manifestation of the king’s power.

Construction of the Cathedral of Monreale, also comprising the Convent and the Royal Palace, began in 1174. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015.

The exterior has a simple style: it impresses with its portal flanked by two Norman towers and its three richly decorated apses. But the real marvel is inside: the three naves are entirely covered with enormous golden mosaics. It is the largest mosaic in Italy, second in the world after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul: over 6,000 square metres of glass and stone tesserae. 

The true jewel of the Cathedral is the imposing mosaic decorating the central apse that depicts Christ Pantocrator in the act of blessing the faithful. Look up and prepare to be awed. 

Hours

Monday: 09:00 AM - 12:45 PM ; 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Tuesday: 09:00 AM - 12:45 PM ; 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Wednesday: 09:00 AM - 12:45 PM ; 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Thursday: 09:00 AM - 12:45 PM ; 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Friday: 09:00 AM - 12:45 PM ; 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Saturday: 09:00 AM - 12:45 PM ; 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Sunday: 14:00 PM - 17:00 PM

Cattedrale di Monreale

Piazza Guglielmo II, 1, 90046 Monreale PA, Italia

Call +390916404413 Website

Related articles

UNESCO
Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale

Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale

Cultural cities
2 days in Palermo: the itinerary

2 days in Palermo: the itinerary

Cultural cities
Palermo: a precious jewel of the south with rich cultural heritage

Palermo: a precious jewel of the south with rich cultural heritage

Food and wine
In Sicily, discovering the seals of rural biodiversity

In Sicily, discovering the seals of rural biodiversity

UNESCO
The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, an archaeological wonder in a dream setting

The Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, an archaeological wonder in a dream setting

UNESCO
894433170

Mount Etna

UNESCO
The Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina

The Villa Romana del Casale in Piazza Armerina

UNESCO
Necropoli di Pantalica

Syracuse, the Pantalica Necropolis World Heritage Site

UNESCO
Val di Noto and the Baroque

Val di Noto and the Baroque

UNESCO
1224783848

Northern Sicily’s seven volcanic Aeolian Islands

Art and culture
Isola Bella, Taormina - Messina, Sicily

Sicily, island of eternal summer, culture and archaeology

Villages
castelbuono south working

In Castelbuono to discover the essence of south working in a Sicilian village

Food and wine
In Palermo, his majesty the bread with spleen

In Palermo, his majesty the bread with spleen

Sport
Marathon runners in Castelbuono

Giro Podistico di Castelbuono 2023, the 10 lap marathon for the Feast of Sant'Anna

Tours and experiences
tour of etna

On the volcano by train, a tour of Etna by Ferrovia Circumetnea

Sustainability
porti turistici in sicilia

Sicily's green tourist marinas: Blue Flag sustainability

Villages
Taormina

Taormina, a natural platform overlooking the sea

Cultural cities
467663396

Catania, a baroque city with a gritty energy

Nature
Isola dei Conigli

Isola dei Conigli: the world’s most beautiful beach on Lampedusa

Food and wine
history of pistachio

The Sicily region by way of Franco Pepe’s pizza

Ops! An error occurred while sharing your content. Please accept profiling cookies to share the page.