Short History of the Inferior Church  

" Saint Mary of Hierusalem "

 Many Writers have spoken about " Cripta" of the Palatine Chapel ; the Fazello calls it the most religious underground Speco and also  Regal Visitor John Angel De Ciocchis in 1741; Vincent Auria and Don Marzio Hotel, second ancient traditions want, it asylum of the persecuted Christians. As in many Palatine Chapels the lowland Chapel was destined to the staff, as Parochial Church,  its insufficient elevation and the relative dusk have made to think to Cripta, destined place to the conservation of the Relics.
The complex is constituted from the Church preceded from the nartece and the before one sacello (that it was the burial room of King William in  1166, today buried in the Dome of Monreale) and from the outpatient's departments that are around sacello and the Church. The presence of a deambulatory, that it allows the peripheral circulation, orients in such sense. Without a doubt these characteristics are  due to technical necessities of the plan, in particular to the necessity to support the advanced Chapel , than wanted higher possible.  
The lowness impression is cancelled from extreme elegance of the architectonic forms. The atmosphere, turned to all sixth, came  gained in correspondence of the geometric center of the advanced Church. In reality the Church is constructed outside earth, to the downstairs of  Courtyard; the light lack has been created in the course of the centuries. It is introduced rectangular but developed, second a concept more near  model orients them of the Churches bizantine. The
room of m. 7,25 x 12 are uniform in three wide navate small m. 3 for means of two columns of perusal late-ancient sormontate from capitelli, and entire is turned from cruises to sixth pointed one.
Vincent Zoric makes to go back  construction to 1117. After fifteen years from erection of Saint Mary of Hierusalem, first Parochial center (from 1132), Ruggero it starts the construction of the new Palatine Chapel , to basilican plant, with three navate, of Latin type.  
It is considered that the conquest normanna of the Sicily with army apulo-calabrian and the Christian population survivor to the dominion  Muslim was of language and Greek ritual; the Normanni could on hand have a meager number of Latin priests and the last Greek Bishop  that they found the Normanni in the little Church of Santa Cyriaca was Nicodim (1065-1073).  
The inferior Church or Saint Mary of Hierusalem is cited in Rollo of the Tonni like " superiore". The Greek Clergy was the place where officed ,  even if only for some Eves of Lent, in the Supper of the Lord, Saint John Baptiste, Ss. Peter and Paul, Dormitione of Virgin (Cfr. Garofalo, Tabularium). But Nicodim could not consecrate the primitiva Palatine Chapel ; it was sure from  Greek Protopapas (of which we do not know the name) that it traced Crosses of the Consacration on the walls, contornate from letters 
IC XC NI KA (Jesus Christ Wins). Scomparso the Bizantino Ritual, of it will get lost the memory. 
After the transformations endured from the Real palace during the baroque age, the rectangular space and the corridors in the area the west of the inferior Church fell in the oblivion for three hundred years. The door originates them was riscoperta and opened only in 1934 from Valenti . In a nineteenth-century description (Cfr. Instructive guide of Caspar Palermo, 1816) five altars are described, the main one of which dedicated to the SS. Crucifix, venerated until to 1781 in the Palace of the Courts, center of Saint Inquisition
(from 1980 in the Sacrary) of forehead to which it is the Chapel of the Madonna of Thanks, whose altar was declared Privileged in 1584, with the Image painted on burlap; you of they are others two on the imitating flanks of the Church and the wall two ancient images the mosaic: the Saints Vincent and Niceta (visible till 1818). Between the apse centers them and the Pròthesis (side left) was frescoed the Odigitria (the Virgin that indicates the Way), torn from the placed wall and in the Pronao of the advanced Church till 1995 ( transferred here in the following year).
The Odighitria Virgin transferred on burlap has been putted in the absidiola of the Prothesis. Dressed of blue and ammantata of red, it is rare and valuable example of datable sicilian-bizantina art to the first decades of XII the century; the Divine Child, from the faces of an adult who of infant, is paludated with dresses purpurea in sign of Its Divine Royalty. Next the altar was buried viscers of Emanuele Filiberto di Savoia, Vicerè of Sicily, died in 1624, of which law in a marble the epitaffio. In other side of Chapel head viscers of D are buried. Ring de Maura and Gusman, Marquis of Castel Rodrigo, Vicerè, that it died in Palermo the 16 You open them 1677 like best dall' registration; still D. John Telles Giron Duc of Ossuna and the Duchessa D. Teresa Aliponzoni Fogliani of Aragon, wife of the Duca D. Giovanni Fogliani de Aragon Vicerè of Sicily. They are here under the interments of the Canonical ones and the Corodati; in it stones to death is written: Sepulcrum Canonicorum and Sepulcrum Beneficìatorum. (Cfr.V.Zoric Arx praeclara quam regale Palatium appellant in: The City of Palermo in the Middle Ages, 2002)