PALERMO AND MONREALE
Palermo, founded by the Phoenicians with the name Ziz ‘flower’ – developed enormously under the Arabs and then under the Normans and Hohenstaufens, so much so that most of its most prestigious monuments were built in those periods.
The city formed along the main street, the “Cassaro” (now Corso Vittorio Emanuele), intersected from the sixteenth century on by via Maqueda. Along these streets and the side streets there are splendid patrician mansions and many of the main monuments: the Royal Palace with the Palace Chapel, the Cathedral, the “Martorana” church, Piazza Pretoria, Palazzo Steri to mention just a few.
Monreale City of Kings, Bishops, Artists and Poets,
Even though its territory is not as wide and varied as the history through which it has passed, it is among the most precious of the jewels making up the immense cultural heritage of Sicily. No matter how long it takes for chronicles to becomes history, in Monreale time has continously accumulated every day fragments which have also become history.
THE ORIGINS OF MONREALE
Monreale has a historical peculiarity of great importance: that of being a city, now with 25.000 inhabitants, which grew up around an immense and wonderful cathedral. The Norman Cathedral was built by William II starting from 1174 in an area which was absolutely deserted. All the subsequent evolution of the city through the centuries reflected the choice made, evidently dictaded by political motives as well as by personal rivalry between the Norman King William II and the English Archbishop Walter Of The Mill.
Enjoy the videos of the two cities and of some other town in the area: