Cathedral of Monreale, world famous for its marvelous mosaics and symbol of the city together with the adjacent monastery, is part of the World Heritage Sites .
Il Duomo, dedicated to Santa Maria Nuova, stands on the steep sides of Mount Caputo and dominates the entire Conca D'Oro. There are two legends that surround the origins of this cathedral: the legend of William the Good and the legend of the two brothers , but certain news , coming from historical sources, tell us that the works for the construction of the Cathedral of Monreale began in 1174, by the will of the King of Sicily William II. Over the centuries there were then extensions and renovations.
The exterior has a main facade inserted inside two asymmetrical towers of different height and shape. The bell tower is lower than the other because it was partially knocked down by lightning in 1807. On the bell tower stands a large clock with the words "tuam nescis", "You don't know yours". Between the two towers stands the 18th century portico in white marble, decorated with pointed arches intertwined with polychrome inlays: it was erected to replace the original one which had collapsed. Inside this portico there is a bronze door from 1185 made up of forty-six panels with biblical episodes. Along Piazza Vittorio Emanuele you can admire the sixteenth-century portico Di Giandomenico E Fazio Gagini. The rear part of the sacred building presents the convexity of the three apses with three levels of intertwined arches enriched with polychrome decorations, and is a wonderful example of Arab art.
The interior of the cathedral is vast and solemn: 102 meters long, it has a Latin cross basilica plan, with three naves that culminate in as many apses. The magnificent central nave is three times the size of the aisles and is separated from them by two rows of nine columns. The
Of great value are also: the ceilings in polychrome wood; the royal throne, richly decorated, and the archbishop's throne, more modest; the royal sarcophagi of William I and William II.
A suggestive view of the Conca d’oro can be enjoyed from the roofs of the Cathedral of Monreale and also from the roofs it is possible to appreciate the architecture with which the entire monumental complex was built, the skylights and the nearby cloister.