Pisa Cathedral

Found in the Square of Miracles

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Pisa Cathedral

Pisa Cathedral Dome is the Cathedral, it is not sacred as Basilica (the only one in Pisa is San Piero a Grado), but is the main church as well as the Archbishop’s Office.

Its origins are medieval and although devoted to Santa Maria Assunta, it was originally called Santa Maria Maggiore.

Begun in 1063/1064 (Pisan Calendar applicable at that time) by the architect Buschetto, with part of the loot of the battle/war in Sicily against Muslims, it was created with the merger of different stylistic elements from classical, Byzantine, Lombard-Emilian and Islamic, as a demonstration of the power of the markets of Pisa at that time at international level.

In 1092 from simple Cathedral, the Church became Primatial (title of primate conferred by Archbishop Daibert and Pope Urban II ), today only formal title.

The Cathedral was consecrated in 1118 by Pope Gelasius II, expanded over the years, with projects of changing the façade until the present appearance of the complex building, which is the result of repeated restoration campaigns occurred in different ages (the more radical intervention was a result of the disastrous fire of 1595, where even the roof was rebuilt!).

Magnificence in prevalent Romanesque style (Pisan Romanesque), it symbolizes the prestige and wealth of the maritime Republic of Pisa at the height of its power and of its strength. Five naves compose its structure with transept to three naves, architecturally composed from three basilicas (Central Body and two transepts). Its external style is full of multi-coloured marble decorations, mosaics, including the most important one, that of the ” Apse Catino made by Cimabue, and many bronze objects. The arches recall the Muslim influences and southern Italy and many objects and decorations are the result of war spoils, as the immense granite Corinthian columns between the nave and the apse, which come from the mosque of Palermo.

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