Photographer's Note

La Catedral de Palermo (Virgen de la Asuncin), surge en la ms antigua rea sagrada de la ciudad, donde ya Fenicios, Romanos, Byzantinos y Arabes haban levantado sus lugares de culto. Los Normandos, llegados al poder, se preocuparon enseguida de reemplazar la mezquita musulmana con una iglesia cristiana. En 1184 el arzobispo de Palermo, Gualtiero Offamilio, mand demoler el edificio y orden que se empezara la construccin de una estupenda catedral, smbolo del poder religioso en la ciudad. Apenas despus de un ao, la iglesia fue consagrada y titulada a la Virgen de la Asuncin.

En los siglos sucesivos aadiduras y restauraciones modificaron el edificio original.
La mezcla armoniosamente incongrua de estilos de vida a un conjunto grandioso y en definitiva no desagradable. La fachada, flanqueada por altas torres con ajimeces y pequeas columnas, est unida por dos arcades ojivales al campanario situado al otro lado de la calle. En ella se abre un grande portal del siglo XIV con marcos de bronce. El largo lado derecho est adornado con un escenogrfico prtico de estilo gtico-catalano del siglo XV, bajo el cual se abre un hermoso portal tambin del siglo XV.

En fin, particularmente bella y sugestiva, la zona de los bsides, la nica que ha conservado las formas originales del siglo XII.

Su interior, amplio y blanco, resulta fro comparado con el exterior. A lo largo de las paredes estn alineadas estatuas de mrmol de Gagini que figuran santos. En las dos primeras capillas de la nave derecha estn las tumbas reales e imperiales. Entre otros all descansan Roger II, Enrique VI de Suabia, Constancia de Altavilla y Federico II de Suabia, todos en monumentales sarcfagos de prfido. En la tumba de familia se encuentran pues el fundador del reino normando de Sicilia, su destruitor, la invulontaria causa de su fin y su ltimo beneficiario. Entre las muchas capillas sealamos la capilla de Santa Rosala, donde en un urna de plata de 1631 se custodian las cenizas de la Santa Patrona de Palermo.

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The Cathedral of Palermo (Virgin of the Assumption), arises in the oldest sacred area of the city, where already Phoenicians, Romans, Byzantines and Arabs had raised their places of worship. The Normans, coming to power, immediately worried about replacing the Muslim mosque with a Christian church. In 1184 the archbishop of Palermo, Gualtiero Offamilio, ordered the demolition of the building and ordered the construction of a wonderful cathedral, a symbol of religious power in the city. Just after a year, the church was consecrated and titled to the Virgin of the Assumption.

In the following centuries additions and restorations modified the original building.
The harmoniously incongruous mix of lifestyles to a grandiose and ultimately not unpleasant ensemble. The faade, flanked by tall towers with mullions and small columns, is joined by two pointed arcades to the bell tower located on the other side of the street. It opens a large portal of the fourteenth century with bronze frames. The long right side is adorned with a scenographic portico of Gothic-Catalan style from the 15th century, under which a beautiful portal also opens from the 15th century.

In short, particularly beautiful and suggestive, the area of the apses, the only one that has preserved the original forms of the twelfth century.

Its interior, broad and white, is cold compared to the outside. Along the walls are lined Gagini marble statues depicting saints. In the first two chapels of the right nave are the royal and imperial tombs. Among others there are Roger II, Henry VI of Swabia, Constance of Altavilla and Frederick II of Swabia, all in monumental porphyry sarcophagi. In the family tomb there are found the founder of the Norman kingdom of Sicily, its destroyer, the invulonary cause of its end and its ultimate beneficiary. Among the many chapels we note the chapel of Santa Rosala, where in a silver urn of 1631 the ashes of the Patron Saint of Palermo are guarded.

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Additional Photos by Luis Garcia (adramad) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 7834 W: 5 N: 13773] (61364)
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