Cefalù Cathedral

Begun in 1131 during the reign of Roger II, the cathedral and the adjoining abbey and cloister were completed some years later. The floor plan and artistic style, typical of those of many cathedrals built in Northern Europe during the same period, differ somewhat from the simple Romanesque lines of Monreale's cathedral, especially when viewed from the outside. The church, with some Gothic features, was one of the first Sicilian cathedrals built on the Western model, with a long nave and distinct transept. This indicates an influence more Norman than Byzantine or Arab, though the icon of Christ in the apse leaves no doubt about the Eastern (Orthodox) tradition still very much alive in western Sicily at the time the church was built. Cefalù Cathedral lacks the extensive mosaics of Monreale; its ambience is altogether more Gothic than Byzantine, though purists would point out that its style shows only partial signs of early Gothic forms.
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