The lighting concept for the Monreale Cathedral is the result of a long process based on a careful analysis of the monument in all its aspects. What was especially taken into consideration are the perceptive features of the mosaics, the symbolic meanings that light assumes in the Norman architecture in Sicily, the prescriptions of the Italian Episcopal Conference - CEI as far as the lighting of churches, the laws regarding the preservation of the photosensitive materials, the liturgical and cultural exigencies as well as the defects and limits of the former lighting system dating back to the ‘80s.

These and many other aspects led to the definition of clear and coherent project goals: underline through the light the intentional grandeur of the monument emphasizing the architectural details of church; light the large mosaic surface (over 6000 sqm) by revealing the colors faithfully and giving pre-eminence to the brilliance of the gold backgrounds; respect as much as possible the daylight’s direction in order to not alter the perception of the interiors; guarantee different fruitions through an electronic control systems managing the sceneries (solemn liturgy, weekday and holiday celebrations, cultural visits, etc.); conceal the fixtures and the power cables allowing, at the same time, their easy maintenance; assure the maximum safety and the high efficiency of the whole lighting system.

To reach all these goals, about 200 projectors with metal halide lamps have been used. Their warm light makes the mosaics shine without any glare effect, giving new light to the stories of the Old and New Testament as well as to the wonderful wooden structures and the magnificent embrace of the Christ Pantocrator “wrapped” in a mystic golden light.

Triskeles Studio Associato
Emanuela Pulvirenti

Migliore Sonapar SpA