Normans at Palerm



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In the XI century Normans settled in the South of Italy. Two important adventures, Roberto and Ruggiero d’ Altavilla, come into Palermo and fought against Saracen. They conquered Palermo in 1072 but didn’t subdue Arabs, Greeks, Jews etc..
Ruggiero II d’ Altavilla was crowned king of “Two Sicily Kingdom” in 1130 on Christmas day in the cathedral. He consolidated the feudal system .This is one of most important cause of the present Sicilian condition. But even if he was enough tolerant, he considered an absolutes king. He said that only God surpassed him. In his court he assembled men of letters, mathematicians, scientists and all letterad people coming from all over the world. Ruggiero II, the first Sicilian king, build wonderful monuments. For example he build “cappella palatina”, San Giovanni degli Eremiti” and “ Duomo di Cefalù”. In 1154 Ruggiero died and his son, Guglielmo I, was crowned. He was called “ bad William” because he was dissolute. In this period Muslims rebelled and Gugliemo was killed. Eis son, Guglielmo II, became king. HE was called “good William”. He reduced taxes and lived in luxury. He died in 1189 and the new king was Enrico II. So the real family was Svevi’s .
In literature and in all kind of art Normans king were very intelligent. Especially in architecture. They were intelligent because they decided to fuse all people style together. So we can observe that in Normans monuments there are a lot of Arabian architectonic elements and sometimes Byzantine ones. .For example in the “duomo of Monreale” we see mullioned windows with two or three light and gold plated mosaics (typical of Byzantine), pointed arches which are typical of Arab and very tall tower( typical of Normans).
There is a famous legend about this church . The Virgin Mary