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One of the world’s largest and most interesting mosaic covered surfaces can be admired in the Cathedral of Monreale, a city located near Palermo in Sicily. Financed and created by the Norman-Sicilian king William II, called “Il Buono” (the Good), the artistic area that we are about to visit leads us into cultural and religious worlds that may even help us to understand our twenty-first century although they are nine centuries old.

Before commencing this Virtual Tour, it may be good idea for each of us to summon up a “cerebral” effort.  If we are to understand even the minimum essentials of what the sacred site of Monreale is and what it means, we need to immerse ourselves in the values and historical events that give a sense of living logic to its famous mosaics. If we were to fail to subject ourselves to this cultural effort, tourists or even Christian believers would limit themselves to admiring only the exterior of the architectural and artistic creations. But given that these are quite repetitive, the group of visitors would soon grow tired after the presentation of two or more basic concepts or image types. The same phenomenon would occur if we were to visit the world famous sacred sites such as the Buddhist temple of Angkor in Cambodia, or the Buddhist palace of Potala, in Lhasa, Tibet, or the Egyptian temple of the god Amon in Luxor. The effort that we are asking for will be compensated by a unique cultural satisfaction and also, we hope, a sense of spiritual gratification, given that we are dealing with experienced religious architecture.