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The Palatine Chapel is the personal chapel of the kings and viceroys of Sicily. Today the chapel – one of the most important monuments of the Arab-Norman style, containing mosaics of the 12th and 15th centuries, made by local and Byzantine craftsmen.
The chapel is located on the second floor of the Palazzo Normanni. On holidays and Sundays, Mass is held in the chapel, the rest of the time it is a museum.
Construction of the chapel was started in 1130 by Roger II. The chapel was built as a votive temple in which the coronation was to take place. In April 1140, the chapel was consecrated in honor of the Apostle Peter.
During the reign of Roger, mosaics of the transept were created, triumphal arch and dome. At the same time, Arab carpenters created a carved stalactite ceiling. During the reign of William the First Wicked, local craftsmen executed a large mosaic cycle in the central nave, dedicated to the Book of Genesis. During the reign of William the Second the Good, the side aisles were decorated with a small mosaic cycle telling about the life of the apostles Paul and Peter. In the Norman era, the Easter candelabrum and carved pulpit were created.
In the 15th century, work on the chapel was resumed. At that time, the royal throne was created, decorated with marble inlay, and the decoration of the side aisles was completed.
The chapel is a classic three-aisled basilica with three apses. Each side nave is separated from the main nave by five columns, made of green marble and Egyptian granite.
The floor of the chapel is decorated with Cosmati-style inlay made of granite, marble and porphyry. This is one of the well-preserved floors of the 12th century.
The ceiling of the central nave is presented in the form of a wooden stalactite plafond, decorated with figures of feasting, dancers and musicians, and Kufic inscriptions.
The western and eastern parts are spatially allocated in the chapel. They are raised five steps above the floor of the chapel, and are crowned with mosaics depicting episodes from the life of Christ Pantokrator.
Bronze doors are decorated with an acanthus pattern. A special place is given to mosaics – they fill the space above the columns, cover the surface of the apses, the upper register of the walls. The lower register of the walls is decorated with intricate marble inlays.
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Topic: Palatine Chapel in Italy, Sicily resort.