/ / Cathedral of Siena: photo description (Duomo di Siena)

Cathedral of Siena: photo description (Duomo di Siena)

Siena Cathedral, consecrated in honor of the assumption of the blessed virgin Mary is the main Church of the medieval city. It was built in 1215 1263, on the site of a preexisting temple. The origin of the latter remains a mystery and cause for speculation. We only know that once there was a Church of the 9th century and the Bishop's Palace.

A contemporary Cathedral constructed of white and greenish-black marble with splashes of red marble on the façade has the shape of a Latin cross with a dome and an attached bell tower. The dome, resting on a hexagonal Foundation and supported by columns, decorated with light work of Bernini. The Central nave of the Church and two side chapels are separated from each other by semi-circular arches.

In 1339 began the second stage of construction of the Cathedral: it was planned to almost double its area by erecting a new nave and side aisles. However, the outbreak in 1348 the plague prevented these plans to materialize. The outer walls remaining from this phase of works, to this day you can see to the South of the Cathedral. The Foundation of the uncompleted nave now serves as a Parking lot and a kind of Testament to the ambition and artistic achievement of Siena.

Under the choir of the Cathedral is the porch, which preserved the unique frescoes of the late 13th century with scenes from the old Testament. Once these frescoes, only discovered during restoration works 1999-2003, was part of the entrance portal in the early Christian Church. Facade of the Cathedral was also built in two stages. The lower part of white marble in the Tuscan Gothic style is made around the end of the 13th century. The architect Giovanni Pisano generously decorated it with gargoyles. He is also the author of three portals topped by arched openings and Gothic Gables. The columns between the portals are decorated with acanthus, with allegorical figures and biblical scenes. Work on the upper part of the facade only resumed in 1376. Its division into parts does not coincide with the division of the lower part, as well as do not match the pinnacles of both parts. Almost all the statues that today can be seen in the niches of the facade are copies. The originals are in the Cathedral Museum.

The Central bronze door was made only in 1958 Enrico Manfrini. She painted scenes on the subject of the Praise of the virgin Mary. And three huge mosaics on the façade were made in Venice in 1878. Next to the façade you can see a column with the she-wolf, suckling Romulus and Remus, symbol of Siena. According to legend, the sons of Remus, Senius and Ascius, were the founders of Siena.

Inside the Cathedral, special attention deserves a big round stained glass, made in 1288, is one of the first examples of stained glass in Italy.