The Norman Palace, Palermo

Palazzo de Normanni, the Norman Palace, is one of several Arab-Norman buildings in Palermo.  It was the seat of the Norman kings, whose reign started in 1072, just 6 years after conquering England, ending in 1139.  The Palace began as an Arab structure in the 10th century.  Vaults from that period remain visible.  The Punic (Carthaginian) ruins are in the lowest part.  The Palace was built between two rivers and was moated. 

The Capella Palatina is the best example of the Arab-Norman-Byzantine style.  The mosaics are superb, the wood roof excellently painted, the marble work expertly crafted.  Sala Normana is not altered from its original state, but much of the rest has been modified. 

 

Courtyard
Loggia
chapel
chapel
Palazzo dei Normanni

 

The Sicilian Parliament, the oldest legislative body in the world, meets in the Palace.  It’s first meeting was in 1097.  These two mono chromatic pieces adorn the meeting room.

 

Hercules – one of many wall paintings featuring the legend
Muscular putti in chiaroscuro

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