It's Good To Be The King

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June 24th 2007
Published: August 5th 2007
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Palazzo Normanni CourtyardPalazzo Normanni CourtyardPalazzo Normanni Courtyard

The columns and arches of the palazzo.
Palermo was sizzling. The Scirocco (winds) from North Africa are blowing and temperatures were
going up and up (and yes sand is in the air). We are averaging about 2-3 water bottles per day
minimum each. Blackouts are becoming a common theme due to the overload of the electrical system because of widespread A/C use. But all is not lost....the A/C in our Golf continues to work like a charm.

Today Sabrina guided us into the world of the Normans (of french Normandy) and Saracens of the 9th - 13th centuries. We are beginning to understand why Sicily was so prized (and invaded) over the past 20+ centuries. Palermo, for example, was literally an oasis set between two rivers. The Saracens piped the water into an elaborate complex of palaces and pleasure gardens with fairly exotic plants and animals. Little remains of this paradise today but visiting the Palazzo dei Normanni and the Monreale Duomo allowed us to see the richness of Arabo-Norman art first hand through the fantastic mosaics, archecture and gardens. Of course you can more quickly gain an appreciation this cultural blend by eating granita or gelato, Pasta alla Normanna, etc. which we also did in Monreale.
Triumphant Norman King Roger IITriumphant Norman King Roger IITriumphant Norman King Roger II

King Roger II receiving the keys the keys of the City from the Saracens.
We spent most of the day simply basking in the richness of the art shown below and presented to us by our expert guide

Additional photos below
Photos: 12, Displayed: 12


Roof of the PalazzaRoof of the Palazza
Roof of the Palazza

The roof near the kings chambers.
Mosaics In Rogers ChambersMosaics In Rogers Chambers
Mosaics In Rogers Chambers

Hunting scene in the arabo-norman style in the kings chambers.
Cappella PalatinaCappella Palatina
Cappella Palatina

The Palentine Chapel was under renovation while we visited.
Stunning MosaicsStunning Mosaics
Stunning Mosaics

The stunning beauty of the Capella Palantina mosaics were King Roger's reward for his appreciation of the Saracens artisans.
Close-up Of A MosaicClose-up Of A Mosaic
Close-up Of A Mosaic

The mosaics are as rich as a Casatta
Cloisters Of MonrealeCloisters Of Monreale
Cloisters Of Monreale

The cloister with pointed arches and carved columns decorated with mosaics.
William Dedicating The DuomoWilliam Dedicating The Duomo
William Dedicating The Duomo

William II offering the Cathedral to Mary.
Cloisters CourtyardCloisters Courtyard
Cloisters Courtyard

A view of the courtyard.
Monreale DuomoMonreale Duomo
Monreale Duomo

The interior of Monreale is breathtaking.
Monreale Duomo InteriorMonreale Duomo Interior
Monreale Duomo Interior

The Duomo is plain on the outside (no marble) but dazzling in the interior.

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