The Chiostro dei benedettini is a purely Romanesque construction, with a square plan of 47 meters on each side, with a portico with ogival arches with double ferrules and a very unique “bull” in the intrados.
The arches are supported by coupled columns of alternating ornamentation, some carved with arabesques and others with mosaic inlays. The capitals are decorated with biblical scenes. In the southern corner there is a quadrangular enclosure bordered by three arches on each side.
In the center there is a fountain whose water flows from a richly carved column in the shape of a stylized palm shaft, with standing figures, heads and leaves in relief. The water comes out in thin jets from human and lion’s mouths. The bases of the cloister columns depict a very wide variety of motifs: stylized leaves, rosettes, lion’s paws, heads of beasts, groups of men and animals, frogs and lizards. Their execution differs greatly from that of the capitals, so much so that it is assumed that it was entrusted to subordinate craftsmen. The capitals of the groups of four corner columns are particularly cared for.
How to get there
The city of Monreale at 310 m. above sea level dominates the area of the former citrus groves of the Conca d’Oro and the city of Palermo. 10 km from the city of Palermo, it can be easily reached by car, bus or taxi.