Cathedral of Monreale
Near Palermo, Sicily, Italy
Norman King William II completed this remarkable vision of
a Catholic Church in 1184. The style is Byzantine Mosaics,
telling Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments,
layered on all sides of the church.
Here is one panel from the story of Noah's Ark, sailing above
the floodwaters. Other mosaics show the ark being built and
animals brought on board. More than 40 separate Biblical
episodes each consist of multiple mosaic panels.
Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, from which they are
banished, was another detailed Bible story on the wall.
A huge mosaic of Jesus in the Byzantine style, what today
would be called Orthodox or Eastern Orthodox, dominates
the front area of this cathedral.
This may have been the largest mosaic depiction of Jesus in
its day. Artists were brought in from everywhere to
complete the church in only a decade. Many of them were
Moslems, whose religion recognizes both the Old and New
Testaments as holy works.