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Arab-Norman itinerary: Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale, Palermo, sicily

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About Course

History and teachings
Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale is a symbol of the era of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194). The new Norman rulers built various structures in what has become known as the Arab-Norman style. They incorporated the best practices of Arab and Byzantine architecture into their own art. It is important to note that a different builder constructed each of the sites, they are linked together because of their shared architecture and time period. These sites work to create a shared identity among the areas that they are built in. This is because many people chose to visit the sites together, not just one at a time.

Cross-cultural dimensions
Collectively, they are an example of a social-cultural syncretism between Western, Islamic and Byzantine cultures on the island which gave rise to new concepts of space, structure and decoration. They also bear testimony to the fruitful coexistence of people of different origins and religions (Muslim, Byzantine, Latin, Jewish, Lombard and French). Thus, it is an outstanding example of stylistic synthesis that created new spatial, constructive, and decorative concepts through the innovative and coherent re-elaboration of elements from different cultures.

Useful information:
recommended for all; general; doesn’t require prior knowledge; accessible; affordable

Located in Palermo.

It is a series of nine religious and civic structures: the Royal Palace, the Palatine Chapel, the Martorana Church, the Church of San Cataldo, the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, the Cathedral of Palermo, Zisa Palace, Admiral’s Bridge, Monreale Cathedral and cloister, Cefalù Cathedral. 7 of them are in the historical center of Palermo and are accessible by foot or public transportation, Churches of Cefalù and Monreale are outside Palermo and accessible by car or public transportation. Accessible for disabled. It is possible to walk around the buildings and expolore the itinerary from outside, but it is possibile to enter and visit the buildings from inside. Ticket required for most of them. It is possibile to book a private guide for the whole itinerary. Safety meausures covered

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What Will You Learn?

  • Visitors are able to aquire a historical knowledge about the history of the Arab-Norman period in Sicily and to develop system thinking, critical thinking, openness, respect for diversity, intercultural understanding and awareness of the the ways which cultures evolve.

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