Monreale , Italy
We have visited the Duomo and the Chiostro twice. The cloisters, located to the right of the Duomo is the only part of the monastery that has survived intact. It is laid out in a perfect square, measuring 47 by 47 meters on each side, consisting of a covered walkway around the square garden. The walk is buttressed by 104 pointed arches supported by 228 twin columns of white marble. Many with mosaic inlay, each with a detailed stone carved capital. The capitals depict scenes of from the Bible or Sicily's Norman history, complete with gargoyles, floral motifs knights and kings.
The crowning glory of the cloister is the Arabic fountain in the southwest corner. The fountain is almost a mini-cloister within the cloister, surrounded by its own four-sided colonnade. The fountain was once used by the monks for washing.