Monreale, Sicily

William II's
grand Cathedral.

Until I visited Norman King William II's 12th century cathedral in Monreale, Sicily, I had never seen such a magnificent building, save maybe the Dome on the Rock in Jerusalem. It is a extraordinary piece of art. It is not how long it is, it is not how wide it is, it is not how high it is, rather it is how delicately massive it is, how all together perfect a single piece of art it is. It is exactly what it is supposed to be. If there be such a thing as perfect religious art, this feels like it. I walked, I looked, I stared, I gaped, I gasped in awe at its beauty, at its size, at its unity, and at its silence (until the noisy tourists arrived). Stupendous means nothing, and everything, here. What has man done here but extend the most beautiful of God's creation. Who were these men? What happened to them once they were done? And now having said this, I have really told you nothing of this place.

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The Asp

Nave and Asp

Transept and Asp

Christ the Almighty

Outside of Asp

Mosaics above Nave Columns

Building and Loading Arc

The Flood
Before and During

Rebecca Traveling and
Jacob with his Sons

The Cloister and the Transept and Nave Ceiling

Cloister Fountain

William II Giving
Church to Mary

A Cloister Capital

Transept and
Nave Ceiling

The Main Door

Main Front Door

Copyright © 2003-2008 Mike Metras,