We’re docked in Palermo for the weekend, and yesterday’s excursions to the Palatine Chapel in the Palace of the Normans in the morning and Monreale Cathedral in the afternoon were an absolute treat for me as a quilter.
The Norman King Roger, who I mentioned yesterday, was responsible for conquering Arab-held Sicily in 1072 and ushering in an era of prosperity and harmony as Arabs and Christians lived together. The Arab-Norman style of architecture that resulted is very beautiful, and so different from that of Rome.
Cefalu Cathedral, glorious as it was, is overshadowed by the opulence of the decoration in these two churches on our tour itinerary today. The walls of both are covered with Byzantine mosaics in gold and precious stones like lapis lazuli in the most intricate designs. I didn’t know where to point my camera first and I had a hard time capturing everything I wanted to.
These palm tree shapes run all round the walls and each one is filled in with a different design of mosaic tiles, representing the common humanity of many races living in harmony.
There several quilters like me, drooling over what we saw!