Over this past weekend, the announcement was made for the inclusion of a new UNESCO World Heritage Site in Palermo, Italy. It’s about time, too!
The breathtaking Arab-Norman cathedrals dotted around Sicily’s capital are prime examples of the unique style of architecture and design that bear testament to the collaborative coexistence between Western, Islamic, and Byzantine cultures that has called Palermo home since the early 12th century.
These magnificent Arab-Norman cathedrals are decorated with intricate carvings and colored inlay that wrap around the entire exterior. Walking around and observing the craftsmanship could take an entire afternoon in itself, yet it’s not a bad way to spend one.
The dazzling golden mosiacs that adorn the interior domes of the cathedral nave are reminiscent of Byzantine architecture and can certainly leave one spellbound.
It’s simply a marvel at how complex and detailed the carvings are. If you look closely, you’ll notice that each column has its own unique pattern. I can’t even imagine having the patience to do this! Let alone, hundreds of times.
Of course, with such invaluable structures comes restorations conservations. It’s not uncommon to see sections roped off and skilled artisans hard at work repairing the damage done by time, the elements, and the many visitors who walk through the doors each year.
I am so happy to hear of the new UNESCO World Heritage Site in Palermo, Italy. These structures are absolutely stunning and if the three differing cultures could once live and work together to create something so spectacular, it gives me hope that perhaps one day there can be peaceful coexistence again.