Thursday, November 10, 2016

Cloistered away

So far, the Palermo trip has been church-heavy, I know. Good news! It's going to continue to be pretty much just as church-heavy, because that's basically what I did in Palermo. Luckily enough, they are gorgeous and amazing churches, but I know probably not everyone's idea of a rocking holiday time.

To break up the churches a bit here's something... church-adjacent (literally and figuratively). The cloisters of the cathedral of Monreale date back to 1200, originally part of a Benedictine abbey attached to the cathedral. They are made up of 108 pairs of columns, with alternate pairs covered in beautiful mosaics and each column boasting a carved capital, many of which show Biblical and other scenes.

You need to pay separately to go in to the cloisters (I thought it was included with the roof ticket, which it's not), but the extra 6€ or so is well worth it. The Arab influence can be clearly felt, with the central garden complete with palm trees and corner fountain/cistern.

The cloister as seen from the cathedral roof

The Monreale cathedral seen from the cloisters

The bright sun made it hard to photograph at times

One of the elaborately-carved capitals

Crocodile attack!

Not sure, but looks like this could be Cain and Abel on the left

 Dog attack and two knights

 The corners featured these amazing columns carved all the way round


Animal carvings on the columns

The corner fountain


  1. The more of these selfies I see, the more I think you're cutting a pic of tha sen and pasting onto the background photos!

    1. Haha let's call it consistency! (Or maybe I faked the whole trip! 😮)

  2. That looks like a huge courtyard for the cloisters! So lovely. I like the zigzag columns.

    1. It is beautiful. I like how they managed to make it look harmonious while giving all the columns different decoration.


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