The city of Monreale, in the province of Palermo, was founded by the Normans in the distant 12th century. It is said that the place was used by those who went there to rest from the war and from the Government of Sicily.
King William the Good, in 1171, dreamed of the place where his father’s booty lay on the indication of the Madonna. To her, he should have erected and dedicated a church. So he did.
Abbot Teobaldo and a hundred monks moved to Monreale to officiate in the new temple.
In 1182, Lucius III, at the request of King William raised the church to the status of the “Metropolitan Cathedral”.
The still incomplete Cathedral was already on everyone’s lips, even Pope Alexander III expressed all his joy for the solemnity of the monument.
Monreale was the capital of the homonymous state: yes, because “a state within a state” was established.
The judicial power was recognized to the Archbishop by King William and constituted a unique privilege in the judicial landscape of the Kingdom.
This lasted until 1812 when feudalism was abolished.
The criminal court was presided over by a clergyman, flanked by a notary and / or criminal judge.
In Monreale there was also a secular administration that was entrusted to the class of gentlemen. They held the main city offices.
Monuments and places of interest
The city obviously still has a large number of interesting places, such as the Royal Palace, which was the seat of the Norman kings and which today houses the premises of the Municipality and the seminary. Palazzo Cutò, the monumental cemetery (1877) in neo-Gothic style by Giovan Battista Filippo Basile. Villa del Belvedere, the monumental fountains and of course the inevitable Duomo.