Transfiguration, and the good news is that its towers are now open to the public, for the first time.

Located in Cefalù, a coastal city in the north of Sicily in the province of Palermo, according to legend, it would have arisen following the vow of the Holy Savior by Roger II , who survived a storm and landed on its town’s beach.

In reality, so similar to a fortress, the cathedral seems to have been built for a defensive and military purpose.

Definitely completed in the Swabian period, the Cathedral of Cefalù – since 2015 a World Heritage Site within the Arab-Norman Itinerary of Palermo, Cefalù, and Monreale – opens its towers to the public, starting from  April 24th.

The announcement by Bishop Giuseppe Marciante, nine centuries after the construction of the basilica.

The opening of the towers is part of the ” Itinerarium Pulchritudinis ” project, which also includes a visit to the cloister, the chapel of the bishop’s palace and the treasury of the cathedral.

An itinerary, this, that starting from the basilica leads to the discovery of unique beauty: the beauty of the Tyrrhenian coast, of the Madonie park, of the Valle del Torto.

Built in 1131, in the following decades the Cathedral of Cefalù saw the realization of the mosaics in the apse and the arrangement of the sarcophagi that Roger II wanted for his and his wife’s burial: however, these were transferred to Palermo in 1215 by Frederick II , who reused them for his family. 

Preceded by a large churchyard that served as a cemetery, the cathedral is inspired by the great Benedictine basilicas of Cluniancense origin. Its Romanesque style is enriched by Arabian influences, and its appearance is a pure wonder. Now on it is possible to climb also on its Norman towers:

the square-shaped tower would symbolize the papal miter and the power of the Church; the octagonal tower with Ghibelline battlements would pay homage to the royal crown and temporal power.

A splendid building, in the heart of a city full of charm. Don’t miss to visit it!

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