Sicily – MonrealeApril 2016
In 1174, Norman King William II of Sicily commissioned a cathedral and monastery on the “royal mountain” (Monreale) outside Palermo. The result is a remarkable building that reflects the mix of Arab, Byzantine, and Norman cultures that flourished on Sicily for centuries. Virtually every surface of the main church is covered in intricate glass and gold mosaics, considered some of the finest surviving 12th-century Byzantine-style art in the world. The cathedral's later Baroque-style chapels are less glittering but no less ornate.