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The Palazzo Reale in Palermo, also called Palazzo dei Normanni (Norman Palace) houses the Palatine Chapel and the Sicilian Parliament. While the palace is closed to public from Tuesday to Thursday when the regional parliament is sitting, the Palatine Chapel remains open.
The Cappella Palatina was built by Roger II in 1132 and this church is amongst the most wonderful examples of the harmony of artistic elements produced under the Norman rulers, where decorative and floral Arab ornaments blend perfectly with the 11th century dazzling Greek-Byzantine mosaics.
Wherever you look at you'll see glittering mosaics, covering the inside of the church, capped by a 10th century Arab wooden ceiling. The mosaics show scenes of the Arab life together with biblical stories and figures.
Our favourite mosaic is the one of the picnic in a harem - and Norman pageantry.
Entrance fee (2013): € 7 - Palatine Chapel & Royal Palace together € 8,50