Mosaic – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

Main Doors – Monreale Cathedral (Duomo di Monreale), Palermo, Sicily – Image Credit:  Peuceta |

inlay dreams mosaic

from imperfectionsβ€” beauty

offerings to kings


Its interior gobsmackingly adorned with 6500 square meters of handcrafted mosaics mounted with 2,200 kilograms of pure gold inlays, the Monreale Cathedral, Palermo built by Sicily’s King William II (brother-in-law to England’s Richard I), was constructed from 1172 to 1267.

The 7.8 meters (25 feet) high doors, of the cathedral’s main entrance “West Doors” shown above are constructed of 40 separate bronze panels, which were then nailed to a solid wood backing. These doors are one of the few bronze doors in history to be signed by the creator/designer. Artist Bonanno of Pisa signed and dated the bottom panel with his name and the year “1186.”

Trivia: These doors have been plagued by a host of architectural hiccups well documented by scholars and restorers. It has been suggested that these irregularities may have been the product of the doors’ off-site build 1200+ km away in Pisa.

First, the doors are rectangular in shape; whereas the archway where they reside is not (see below).

Second, the biblical narrative the panels are meant to portray from Genesis to the Ascension of Jesus Christ, some suggest, loses its “theological flow” from top to bottom.

And third, one bronze panel appears to have been installed in the incorrect orientation wherein a lion figure (see below) seems to have been installed upside-downish.

Extra Trivia: In 2017, Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) held its “Alta Sartoria” collection fashion show, inspiried by this cathedral’s stunning mosaics, in the piazza in front of these doors.

The difference between the shape of the doors versus that of the archway is shown below.

Main Door – Monreale Cathedral, Palermo Sicily – Image credit:  simona flamigni |

Close-up details below of one of the bronze doors (notice the lion in the last panel on the bottom right):

Bronze panels – Main Door Monreale Cathedral – Image credit: Alinari Bros / University of Bologna Zeri Foundation – CC 4.0

Wider angle of Monreale Cathedral, Palermo, Sicily below:

Monreale Cathedral, Palermo Sicily – Image Credit: Berthold Werner | Wikimedia CC 3.0

Written for Dan Antion – @ No Facilities – #ThursdayDoors

Published by Suzette Benjamin

Positive thinker, inspirational, writer, faith

47 thoughts on “Mosaic – Haiku 2022 #ThursdayDoors

  1. This is beautiful building and amazing doors. Your haiku is wonderful. As for the imperfections, I once hung wallpaper upside down in my parents’ bathroom. I think the scholars could consider the fact that these doors have survived almost 1,000 years and cut the guy some slack πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Dan.
      You are so right. The doors are doing quite well opening and closing for centuries. Not to mention that they were made for the building while it was under construction.
      Thank you also for hosting Thursday Doors. Much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gorgeous doors. The artwork is stunning. This lovely poem reminds me that we are already whole and complete just as we are, and that inside of the concept of incompleteness and brokenness, is healing. The seeds are already there. Lovely poetry, Suzette.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What beautiful ornamentation. And I love the green patina.
    I’ve seen windows here with shaped openings but square windows on the inside. I just always assumed it was less expensive, and that was the reason. (K)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is quite elegant for something so tall. A testimony to great artistry and craft. I agree, the patina adds so much to charm and authenticity of these types of doors. I am glad you enjoyed the sharing.


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