Cathedral. Cefalu. Italy
Publisher: Cities Heirs of Byzantium Non Profit Association ACEB
Date: March 2017
Duration: 0 hours 15 minutes
The audioguide tells the story, describes the architecture and presents interesting facts about the cathedral of Cefalù, recognized as a UNESCO heritage site. From the first mention of Cefalù we know it was an ancient seaside village, located on the west coast of Sicily. The place name derives from the Greek word thatfalè, which means head, as the fortress, on whose slopes the city rises, has this form. The protagonists of the city's history were the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines and Normans. Thanks to the Normans of the Altavilla dynasty, present here since the 12th century, and the Byzantine masters, the most representative cathedral in the region, dedicated to the Savior, was built here.
The imposing dimensions of the cathedral give us an idea of Ruggero's great political project. The fulcrum of the whole Duomo are the marvelous mosaics, that absolutely have the best preservation status in Sicily. They cover an area of 650 square meters; The different styles confirm that they were realized in different moments. Ruggero wanted the presence of Byzantine masters, called by Constantinople for the decoration of the apse and the cross, while those of the walls would be made after the death of the sovereign, finally accomplished in 1170. During the construction of the cathedral, burial material was used, a very common practice in the Middle Ages, partly due to the low cost of these materials and partly because of their symbolic significance: this loan was considered as a kind of continuity between past, present and future.
You can examine the 3D model of the church and observe its interior through the MuByz App. The audioguide has been made by professionals in the field of history and art.