Historical notes

When Roberto il Guiscardo and his Brother Ruggero D'Altavilla defeated the Arabians and gave back Sicily to Cristianity in January 1072 a priest welcomed them. He was the Archibishop of Palermo and he lived in an old Byzantine Basilica, on which the Normans in 1185 built the new Cathedral. The external architecture of the Cathedral is much more interesting than the internal part. The upper orders of the corner towers were built between the 14th and the 15th century while in the early Renaissance period the Southern porch was added. TheGothic portal, the spiers, the domes, the bas-reliefs on one side and the Arabic apses on the back make the whole view unique. The internal part was made along the centuries. In the early Renaissance period the southern Porch was added. During this period many works were added in the interior part: the great dome emerging from the main body of the building, and the smaller domes covering the aisles ceilings. The altar with its marble, bronze and stones is the only medieval part of the inside and also the 1466 Gothic - Catalan style wooden choir are by Gagini. 

In the right aisle, the first and second chapel, communicating with one another, preserve the imperial and royal tombs of the Normans, those of Frederick II and father ofHenry VI. The sarcophagus of Frederick II is surmounted by a canopy with porphyry columns, together with those of Federico II were also preserved the remains of Peter II of Aragon. Other tombs are those of Constance of Aragon (1183-1222), sister of the king of Aragon, and of the empress Constance d'Altavilla, daughter of Roger II and mother of Federico II. There is also the tomb of Santa Rosalia.

Visiting hours weekdays

09.00 a.m. to 17.30 hours
(during the months from November to February the Cathedral can be visited from 09 .30 13.00p.m.)

Opening hours on public holidays

On holidays the Cathedral is open for visit from 07.30 a.m. to 13.30 and from 16.00 to 19.00hours. The visits are suspended during the sacred liturgies, prayer meetings or events organized inside the Cathedral.


Corso Vittorio Emanule - 90133 Palermo
Tel. +39 091 334373
Tel2. +39 091 334375


bus 104 105 108 118

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