Sicily - Allie Kelley
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Golden Mosiac

The bustling streets of Palermo are alive with traffic, horse carriages, vendors, and pedestrians. Nestled on top of a hill subtly covered in cacti, however, lies the majestic Palatine Chapel. This structure lies within a larger building, notable for its high archways and vast central courtyard. After circling through the outdoor balconies towering above the courtyard, you will reach the tall, handcrafted wooden doors that lead into the religious sanctuary within. Upon closer inspection of the doors, you will find its intricate details include expressive faces and winding vines surrounding the regal central image. This delicate carving, however, represents only a small piece of the beauty that lies beyond the doors.
Entering the Palatine Chapel is similar to stepping foot inside the most extravagant mosaic you can imagine. Its walls are covered in row upon row of brightly covered designs that range in pattern as they stretch across the walls. They closely resembled a woven quilt, but were substantially more impressive because they were individually cut pieces of material set in stone in a flawless design. Above these mosaics were glowing images of Christ and his disciples. Most eye-catching, however, were the walls surrounding the altar. Although this area was restricted from the public, its glowing golden walls on which members of the Holy Family were affixed could not have been missed. The fine, intricate detail and care taken in this part of the church was planned out down to the smallest marble statue at the top and the base surrounding pillars. Finally, looking up at the ceiling, you will see a beautiful handcrafted wooden masterpiece. The pattern dipped higher into the rooftop in a fashion that resembled a glorious egg crate. There was not one square inch of wood that had not been carved specifically into an overall, continuous design that stretched across the length of the chapel. The Palatine Chapel is a wondrous structure that’s incredible design will captivate any clear-sighted audience.