Giving, Norman-Sicilian Style

In the late 12th century, Norman King William II, “The Good” (1172-1189) commissioned Monreale Cathedral in the mountains south of Palermo, where he spent much time hunting in the woods. Legend is that one day after a hunt, while napping under a tree, the Virgin Mother appeared to William in a dream and told him to build a church in her honor at that site.

He did as he was instructed and built the most spectacular example of Arab Norman architecture. In the cloister, which possesses 228 individually designed and decorated columns, if you know where to look, you can find this image pictured, of William giving the Cathedral to the Virgin Mother.

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