The Cathedral, the Cathedral of Siena
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is undoubtedly one of the main attractions of Siena and one of the most celebrated masterpieces in the world of Gothic architecture.
Built between 1215 and 1263, it has a Latin cross shape with transept, bell tower and dome that was embellished with a lantern built by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century.
Both outside and inside you can admire colored marbles because white and black are the symbolic colors of the city that are inserted in the Cathedral in alternating stripes to which is added a red marble on the facade.
The Cathedral of Siena was begun to build around the end of the 1200s and then stopped and re-started in 1338.
The aim of this second phase was to make the Siena Cathedral truly immense with three new elements, namely the creation of a central nave and two side aisles.
The 1348 and the advent of the Black Plague interrupted this ambitious project but it was enriched with new and amazing internal works.
The façade of the Cathedral is of a unique and unrivaled magic with an infinity of statues depicting philosophers, projects and apostles.
All were sculpted by Giovanni Pisano and his workshop to which were added statues of the patriarchs in the niches around the rose made by other authors.
Almost all the sculptures on the facade are copies whose originals are protected and repaired in the famous Crypt of the Statues inside the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.
If the exterior is unique and marvelous, the interior will be able to affect extraordinary effects in your memories thanks to the particular effect of the black and white marble bands on the walls and columns and the vaulted ceiling with golden stars on a blue background.
The rosette of the choir dates back to 1288 and was built according to the design by Duccio di Boninsegna.
Even the high altar is marvelous, made of marble and created by Baldassarre Peruzzi in 1532.
Below you will find the Nicola Pisano pulpit , built between 1265 and 1268, a mix of Gothic and classical style and all in Carrara marble.
The pulpit depicts the doctrine of Salvation and the Last Judgment with four columns supported by two lions and two lionesses and the central column resting on small statues that celebrate the Philosophy and the seven Liberal Arts.
Impressive is the marble mosaic that embellishes the entire floor of the Duomo to which contributed more than forty artists where scenes from the Old Testament are represented, the Sibyls, the Allegories and the Virtues.
Breathtaking are the masterpieces like the Saint Peter realized by a very young Michelangelo and the Banquet of Herod di Donatello , while the famous Majesty by Duccio di Boninsegna and the window of Cimabue are kept inside the Opera Duomo.
The Cathedral of Siena, among its wonders, also includes the famous Piccolini Library with elegant frescoes by Pinturicchio that tell the life of Cardinal Enea Silvio Piccolini.
Right in the center is the statue of the Three Graces.
The Duomo is a labyrinth of creativity and religious mystique that anyone who visits Siena must absolutely see.
If you have not yet decided where to stay, we suggest you to try the Hotel Minerva, our hotel in Siena Center a few steps from all the main attractions of the city including the Duomo.
The Minerva Hotel offers 56 rooms, most with a panoramic view of the Center of Siena, and unique in the Panorama Senese provides for its guests indoor parking with direct access to the hotel and with 20 places.
Book the comfort of the Minerva Hotel.
You will be in the center, in a non-ZTL area and with a bar and a delicious and genuine breakfast.