Duomo di Cefalù

Architecture & Buildings

Europe, Italy, Sicily

The Cathedral-Basilica of Cefalù, (Italian: Duomo di Cefalù) is a Roman Catholic church in Cefalù, Sicily, southern Italy. The cathedral, dating from 1131, was commenced in the Norman style, the island of Sicily having been conquered by the Normans in 1091. According to tradition, the building was erected after a vow made to the Holy Saviour by the King of Sicily, Roger II, after he escaped from a storm to land on the city's beach. The fortress-like character of the building, which, seen from a distance, rises as a huge bulk above its medieval town, may in part reflect the vulnerability of the site to attack from the sea. It also made a powerful statement of the Norman presence. Numerous changes were made over succeeding centuries and the edifice was never entirely completed.