The Leaning Cathedral of Pisa is one of four architectural masterpieces that form the ensemble of the world famous Pisa Square - Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles).
The Leaning Cathedral of Pisa, also known as the Cathedral of Pisa (Duomo di Pisa) began to be erected in 1063. The initiator of this event was the Pisa archbishop Busketo di Giovanni Giudice, under the close supervision of which the construction was underway. Busketo di Giovanni Giudice also became the founder of a new unique style, which appeared directly during the construction and was called the Pisa Romanesque style.
While it is precisely the Pisa Romanesque style that prevails in the architecture of the cathedral, one cannot but pay attention to the presence of elements of other architectural styles. For example, looking at the four rows of an open gallery directly above the entrance, you can see the small round arches, which are a typical element of Moorish architecture. The interior decoration of the building clearly demonstrated the influence of the Byzantine style with its incredible beauty mosaics.
At the time of the construction of this architectural masterpiece, Pisa was credited with a reputation as a strong sea power, so historians do not exclude that these influences and trends of various styles and cultures were brought to the city by various sailors and travelers.
Duomo di Pisa was at that time, and remains now, one of the most impressive works of art of this kind in Italy and around the world. And the fact that it is located in Pisa is not accidental, since at that time the city was one of the most powerful in the Mediterranean region.
Duomo di Pisa was erected in honor of the Assumption of St. Mary. Work on its construction was carried out with funds that were collected at that time by the city in the form of tribute from the Balearic Islands.
Why you should visit Duomo di Pisa
The Leaning Cathedral of Pisa is truly one of the most important tourist sites and a landmark not only of Pisa, but of all of Italy, which definitely has something to offer tourists.
One of the most impressive features of this Italian architectural monument is, of course, its appearance. Looking at the upper part of the western facade of the building, you can see the statue of Mary and the baby. On both sides of the image of Mary are four evangelists.
Another outstanding exterior design element is its massive bronze gate. A closer look reveals that they are covered with a relief depicting various biblical subjects.
The interior design of Duomo di Pisa is in no way inferior to its appearance. Inside, it is decorated with marble, both black and white. The gilded ceiling with the coat of arms of Medici complements the dome with frescoes.
The most impressive interior elements are its massive nave, as well as a beautiful side aisle. The nave of Duomo di Pisa is surrounded by granite Corinthian columns. Little is known that initially these columns adorned the interior of the Palermo mosque. The columns were captured by the Pisans and brought to the city in 1063.
Works of art
In addition to the unique exterior and interior decoration, Duomo di Pisa's interior is also complemented by several of the greatest works of medieval art, although the fire that survived the building in the 16th century destroyed most of them.
One of the most significant and unique works that managed to survive during a fire is the mosaic on the apse. This mosaic depicts Christ surrounded by the Holy Virgin and St. John the Evangelist.
The most impressive work of art that can be seen inside the building is a pulpit decorated with elaborate carvings. The department, which is the creation of Giovanni Pisano, also survived the fire in the 16th century, surviving by a coincidence, and today is highly regarded as one of the masterpieces of medieval sculpture.
The department is supported by simple columns, as well as columns in the form of sculptural images of human bodies, known as caryatids - female sculptures and atlantes - male sculptures. The upper part of the department contains reliefs depicting dramatic scenes from the New Testament - all the way from the Annunciation to the crucifix.
Pisa Cathedral also contains several tombs of significant personalities of the city at that time. So, in the Cathedral there is the tomb of Syaty Ranierus, who was the patron saint of the city, as well as all travelers. The Roman Emperor Henry VII was also buried in Duomo di Pisa. The cathedral also became the burial place of Pope Gregory VIII, however, his grave could not survive during the fire.
Interesting facts and useful information.
The funny fact about this architectural monument, which is not known to most visitors, is that Duomo di Pisa, as well as its equally famous neighbor - the Leaning Tower of Pisa - is slightly tilted. Of course, he is far from tilting the tower, so he doesn’t catch his eye so clearly. However, visitors standing on the sidewalk in front of the building will definitely notice it.
- December-January: 10: 00-12: 45/14: 00-17: 00
- December 22-January 6: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
- November-February: 10: 00-12: 45/14: 00-17: 00
- November 1: 13: 00-16: 30
- March: 10: 00-18: 00 (from March 30: 9: 00-20: 00)
- March 23-29: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- April-September: 10: 00-20: 00
- October: 10: 00-19: 00 (October 1-4: 10: 00-20: 00)
- October 27-November 1: 10: 00-18: 00
- On holidays, Duomo di Pisa is open to visitors from 13:00.
There is no charge for visiting Duomo di Pisa.
Useful tourist information
Address: Piazza del Duomo, 56100 Pisa, Italy
Phone: 050 560 547
Official website: www.opapisa.it