The Pisa Cathedral or Pisa Duomo is called the Pearl of the Cathedral Square; we are talking about a unique building of the 11th century with elements of architecture of various styles. The main cathedral of Pisa is one of the most significant Italian landmarks. Construction began in 1063 and was completed in 1092. Additional extensions and a new facade were built in the 12th century, and the roof was replaced after a fire in 1595
History of the Pisa Cathedral
The construction of the building was based on a project authored by Busqueto. It was here that he demonstrated a new, unique style in architecture, later called Pisan-Romanesque.
In the 12th century, the architect Rainaldo designed the façade of the Pisa Cathedral; it was built by the sculptors Guillielmo and Biduino. They used gray stone with generous amounts of colored marble elements. The change of eras also entailed changes in the appearance of the cathedral, especially the interior in the 17th and 18th centuries, but they did not in any way reduce the cultural value of the medieval monument.
Appearances are not deceiving
The shape of the exterior of the Pisa Cathedral resembles a Greek cross with a massive egg-shaped dome. The entire perimeter of the building is decorated with multi-row arcades and columns. The total length of the building is slightly less than 100 m, width - 28 m. Upon entering, the original mosaic scattering with a statue of the Virgin and Child crowning it immediately catches your eye.
On the massive bronze gates stand out canvases with illustrations of biblical subjects. Another feature of the external design is the belfry with a monolithic base and several blind arcades around it. Above them there are six-tiered arched galleries that unite the entire ensemble into a single whole. On the semicircular ledge of the eastern facade of the Pisa Cathedral there is a copy of a large metal statue of the fantastic creature hippogriff. The original is in the cathedral museum.
Art doesn't burn
The interior of the Pisa Cathedral features black and white marble patterns, smooth gilded ceilings and a high, picturesquely painted dome. Between the aisle and the nave there are powerful granite columns of the Byzantine style. Inside the cathedral you can see many priceless historical artifacts that survived the fire in the 16th century and have survived to this day: a delightful mosaic depicting Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Apostle John; a real example of Italian sculpture of the 14th century, the pulpit of D. Pisano with columns in the form of human bodies and reliefs of dramatic scenes from the New Testament.
Near the altar there is another pulpit depicting episodes from Sacred History, painted by famous Tuscan artists. In addition, the cathedral is a repository of the relics of Saint Ranieri, the patron saint of the city, as well as the Roman emperor Henry VII, whose tomb is skillfully decorated with sculptural decoration. Of course, this is not all that is within the walls of the Pisa Cathedral. It will take a lot of time to see all the magnificent works of art.