For me it is definitely next to The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence and la Sagrada Família in Barcelona, the most precious work of art that I saw ever. The only thing that comes to your mind, when you stand in front of Siena’s Cathedral is delight.
This architectural masterpiece largely built in the years 1215-1264 and is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. One of the creators of this spectacular building was Italian sculptor Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni designed the miraculous facade.
Siena’s Cathedral that represents medieval style has the form of a Latin cross with a slightly projecting transept, a dome and a bell tower. Predominant colors are white and black – symbolic colors of Siena (black and white horses of Senius and Aschius – legendary city’s founders).
Certainly main attention draws the facade that according to me makes very unique impression. It is absolutely impossible to stop staring at it. And thoughts can break away from reality for a while.
The facade consists of four parts (west, east, north, and south). The most magnificent is decisively west part with three portals and the main entrance to Cathedral.
If you decide to enter inside you will be also delighted. The beautiful floor of the Cathedral is made of strips of white and black marble that makes an admirable view. Can you imagine that about forty artists made their contribution in the work of this masterpiece?! With reference to the words of Giorgio Vasari (an Italian painter, architect, writer) floor of the Siena’s Cathedral is “the most beautiful, largest and most magnificent floor that ever was made”. I can only confirm these words. The most important monuments inside is certainly a marble pulpit by Nicola Pisano.
Unfortunately you have to pay for entrance. But trust me it is worth because Cathedral’s inside is priceless. I saw it many times. But for sure unforgettable will always be for me my entrance on 16th August 2013 after Condrada dell’Onda victory in Palio. What an amazing memory!!
You have also the possibility to see the baptistery that is located underneath the eastern bays of the choir of the Cathedral. Prices and opening hours you can find below
Since 15th July 2013 till 6th January 2014 you can also enter Complex of Santa Maria della Scala – Piazza Duomo to see Steve McCurry’s exhibition “Viaggio interno all’Uomo”(http://www.stevemccurrysiena.it/).
And at the end . . . certainly very interesting is historical fact that in 1339 began work of building a new nave. The plan was to transform the Cathedral into the transept. Thanks to this Siena’s Cathedral could be the largest Christian church in the world. But unfortunately epidemic of bubonic plague dashed the plan. At present in the unfinished walls of the new nave is the Museo dell’Opera Metropolitana.
For me Siena’s Cathedral is a real treasure. It is inconceivable to skip it! Just only look . . .
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