Mosaics and mosaic making information from The joy of shards Mosaics Resource

Cosmati geometric floor mosaics at San Cataldo church, Palermo, Sicily

The church of San Cataldo (Chiesa di San Cataldo) overlooks Palermo's Piazza Bellini, just next to the church of La Martorana (Santa Maria dell' Ammiraglio). It was built in the reign of King William I, between 1150 and 1160. Its architecture is in the Arabic style that the Norman kings embraced. The roof has three distinctive red domes in a tight line along its main east-west axis, and there are intricate fretwork decorations on the windows. Inside, the ceiling is complex but unadorned. The entire floor of this small church consists of the original Cosmati-style geometric pavement. Bold lines are interwoven around large red and green stone circles, squares and stretched hexagons. The spaces between are filled with a range of intriguing geometric patterns in yellow, green, red and white. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures or browse pages.

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