The hardest thing about looking at it is that it is white on white, and very tall. A telephoto lens on a camera or some very good binoculars would be useful, because it has a fascinating carved surface that should definitely be savored rather than looked at from on far.
Why was the church built in the first place? None of the chronicles mention exactly when this royal church was built. However, there are many reports that in 1197 the icon of St. Demetrius of Salonica was brought here from Byzantium, so it is assumed that it was around this date that the cathedral was constructed.