Siena is a medieval town full of history located in Tuscany, central Italy.
The Siena Cathedral, placed in the namesake square is one of the most remarkable example of Romanesque-Gothic art in Italy.
Visiting the Siena Cathedral, you will enjoy the mastery of some of the greatest painters, sculptors and architects of the Medieval and Renaissance Era.
Enjoy a beautiful square surrounding an architectural masterpiece
The Siena Cathedral is one of the main symbols of the city, an astonishing spot in this lovely medieval town! The religious building has been raised on the vestiges of a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Minerva and a later church erected in the XI century in honor of the Holy Mary.
The current Cathedral has been designed and erected between 1215 and 1263. As you can see in the picture, the building is constructed with white and black marble in alternating stripes. According to the tradition, these colors are linked to the legend around the city’s founders, Senius and Aschius, as they are often represented respectively mounting a black and a white horse.
Let’s get closer and admire the opulence of details of its façade!
Admire the details of Siena Cathedral façade
Standing in front of this rare example of Romanesque-Gothic art is an unmissable experience during your trip in Siena. Take some time to look at every detail and be astonished by the workmanship of the artists who made it.
The Siena Cathedral facade has been finished between 1360 and 1370 but the exact date when it was started is still unknown. The main entrance is placed in the western façade that you can see in the picture. There are three portals, the central has a bronze Sun at its top. Around the portals and the columns you can see beautiful decorations depicting allegorical figures and biblical scenes.
Along the lower level of the lavish façade you can admire beautiful sculptures by Giovanni Pisano and his assistant, the statues placed in the upper level are from later works.
Nestled in all this complexity and opulence of art lie three golden mosaics located in the upper part of the Cathedral, made in Venice in 1878 and depicting: the Nativity of Jesus, the Coronation of the Virgin and the Presentation of Mary in the Temple.
Take a deep breath, go inside and be amazed by the interiors!
The interiors of the Siena Cathedral are a melting pot of different art styles creating a unique coherent masterpiece. Indeed here you can find works from many different famous artists from different eras.
You will be surprised by the picturesque alternation of black and white of the columns and definitely amazed by the beautiful blue roof adorned of hundreds of stars.
Above the central nave and the choir you can see 171 statues of popes, starting with Saint Peter, first pope of the Christian history. At the end of the central nave you will enjoy a beautiful hexagonal dome with golden-panelled ceiling topped with a lantern designed by GianLorenzo Bernini in 1666.
Here you can also find the altar by Piccolomini, the pulpit by Nicola Pisano, a beautiful stoup by Antonio Federighi, the chapel of Saint John Baptist and many other unmissable artworks.
Don't miss the Piccolomini Library and its colorful frescoes
Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini who became Pope Pius III commissioned in 1497 this stunning library in order to contain the manuscripts and and the book collection belonging to his uncle, pope Pius II. The library was commissioned to the famous Italian painter Pinturicchio that worked on these frescoes between 1502 and 1507.
Once you get into the library located in the west nave of the Cathedral you will be surrounded by a cycle of colorful frescoes depicting several events from the career of pope Pius II, every of these scenes is explained by a text in Latin below.
Visit the Siena Cathedral and admire to all its artworks!
Exploring the Siena Cathedral will be a suggestive trip to art and history, a unique experience during your journey in Tuscany.
Your tour of the Siena Cathedral will take some time: indeed the Cathedral ticket gives you access to many valuable spots, such as the Piccolomini library, the Cathedral museum, the crypt, the Baptistery of Saint John and a panoramic view area.
In order to have access to all these areas you need to buy a ticket at the box office outside in the Cathedral square, visit the official website to have further information about opening hours and prices!
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