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Pisa Cathedral

Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Pisa Cathedral, stands in the square that Gabriele D’Annunzio, in his 1910 novel Forse che si, forse che no (Maybe yes, maybe no) defined "dei Miracoli" (of Miracles), a name it later came to be known by. The Cathedral bears witness to the prestige that the city achieved as a Maritime Republic. It is a religious building, built in Pisan Romanesque style between 1064 and 1118, the year of its consecration. The church was built outside the city walls, symbolising a power that was not afraid of external threats. It was built in two phases. The first phase was linked to the architect Buscheto, who was responsible for the original layout with a five-nave basilica body, a three-aisle transept and dome on the crossing; and by the architect Rainaldo, who designed the extension of the building, creating the facade in shades of black and white. The materials used came from Roman monuments, in order to emphasise the greatness of the city of Pisa. The dome of the Cathedral is inspired by Moorish architecture and there are numerous other traces of oriental style in the church's decorations. 

The interior of the Cathedral has an oriental appearance, full of light and with a space that increases and multiplies: the perspective was obtained thanks to the unusual positioning of the columns. The central nave has a wooden coffered ceiling with illustrations from the story of the Old Testament. Inside, the Cappella di San Ranieri (Chapel of Saint Rainerius) is lavishly decorated and contains the tomb of Henry VII, the work of Tino di Camaino dating back to the 14th century. Beneath the dome, there is the wonderful early 14th century pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, considered one of the masterpieces of Italian Gothic sculpture. 

On the external wall of the Cathedral, you can see some scratches in the stone on the side facing the Camposanto. According to legend, they are marks left by the devil in an attempt to stop the construction of the Cathedral.

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  • Progetto finanziato a valere sui fondi Legge n. 77 del 20 febbraio 2006 “Misure speciali di tutela e fruizione dei siti italiani di interesse culturale, paesaggistico e ambientale, inseriti nella “lista del patrimonio mondiale”, posti sotto la tutela dell’UNESCO”