Cathedral : Michelin's recommendations
The building is located on a site that has been sacred since the city was founded by the Phoenicians in the 7C. In 1072, when the city was conquered, the Normans immediately built a church mosque on the site of the mosque. In 1184, the building was to be entirely rebuilt and consecrated as a cathedral. From this initial construction phase, the only remaining feature is the chevet in pure Arabo-Norman style, with its beautiful geometric motifs of Arab origin. The very beautiful Arab South portico dates from the 15C and was built in the Catalan Gothic style. It is decorated with the symbols of the four evangelists (an angel, a lion, a bull and an eagle) and a magnificent casement of sculpted wood. The interior and the cupola are Spanish additions dating from the 18C, in neo-classical style. The only Mediaeval features to have survived in the interior are the first two chapels to the left of the entrance. You will see six immense porphyry tombs where members of the Sicilian royal family are laid to rest, including two of its most illustrious members: Frederick of Hohenstaufen and his predecessor, Roger II. Other tombs can be found in the crypt. Note the classical Roman sarcophagus, on which the nine muses are depicted, with Apollo and a man wearing a toga. Finally, you can admire the cathedral treasure which includes the jewellery of Queen Constance of Aragon, whose precious imperial crown , in gold, precious stones, pearls and enamel.
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