Still an amazing UNESCO site that is located in Italy and precisely in the island of Sicily. It is a series of buildings, evidence of a refined and unique artistic style, the Arab-Norman one that has given life to architectural jewels that can be admired in different places in Sicily. The Arab-Muslim world and the Catholic-Norman world meet in these monuments churches and palaces that leave us truly amazed by their magnificence and beauty.

This is the official motivation for membership in the Unesco List (Date of Inscription: 2015)

Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale

Located on the northern coast of Sicily, Arab-Norman Palermo includes a series of nine civil and religious structures dating from the era of the Norman kingdom of Sicily (1130-1194): two palaces, three churches, a cathedral, a bridge, as well as the cathedrals of Cefalú and Monreale. 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).

(Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0


The sites included in the UNESCO list in Italy are 53: it is the country with the largest number of Unesco sites followed by China (52) and Spain (46).

Insertion into the Unesco List takes place after a long and complex selection process aimed at identifying those goods that have defined criteria of exceptionality, importance, testimony, but also particular levels of conservation and authenticity. In particular, there are 10 UNESCO-defined criteria that guide the choice of sites to be included in the list.

Among the various monuments identified on the Sicilian UNESCO site, the Cathedral and the Royal Palace represent an excellence for the city of Palermo.

The 12th-century Palermo Cathedral is an impressive building with its beautiful façade dominated by the towers and majestic entrance.

The Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel

The imposing Royal Palace (XI-XII) built by the Arab emirs also called “Palazzo dei Normanni” has undergone several changes over time and contains within it an architectural treasure of inestimable value and great beauty : The Palatine Chapel

“The most beutiful that exist In the world , the most stupendous religious jewel cherished by human thought and executed by a master hand “

In this way Guy de Maupassant defines the Palatine Chapel which, together with other Sicilian monuments, is an integral part of the UNESCO serial site called “Palermo Arabo-Normanna and the Cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale” The Palatine Chapel is considered one of the best preserved medieval buildings and the splendor and charm of this place, rich in symbols and light is really a lot.

Palazzo dei Normanni

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