Inclusion in the World Heritage List: Paris, 7-11 December 1987
In Pisa's Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), there is a group of monuments known all over the world. Located within a large green space, enclosed by the city walls, by the former Ospedale della Misericordia (Hospital of Mercy) and by the Palazzo dell'Arcivescovato (Palace of the Archbishopric), it is one of the most famous building landscapes in the world. The four masterpieces of medieval architecture - the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Campanile (the Leaning Tower) and the Camposanto (cemetery) - were built close to each other, between the 11th and 14th centuries, to form a single monumental complex. A surprising quality pervades the site, emanated by the marbles, the mosaics, the walls, the arches, the pediments and the domes and enhanced by the incredible inclination of the leaning tower.
The square must be considered a cultural patrimony of exceptional universal value, because the works of art it contains are masterpieces that bear witness to the creative spirit of the 14th century. Its monuments are an expression of a crucial moment in the history of medieval architecture, to the point of becoming a reference point for the study of Pisan Romanesque style.
The cemetery and its cycles of frescoes, of a specific type and with a particular function, represent an exceptional example for the history of Italian 14th and 15th century medieval painting.
Criterion I - Representing a masterpiece of man's creative genius.
Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), is a unique artistic example of spatial design and contains four absolute architectural masterpieces: the Cathedral, the Baptistery, the Bell Tower and the Cemetery. These monuments contain artistic treasures famous all over the world, such as the bronze and mosaic doors of the cathedral, the pulpits in the baptistery and in the cathedral, the frescoes in the Campo Santo cemetery and many others.
Criterion II - Showing an important exchange of human values, over a long period of time or within a cultural area of the world, concerning developments in architecture, technology, monumental arts, urban planning and landscape design.
The monuments of the Campo dei Miracoli considerably influenced the development of architecture and monumental art in two different historical periods: 1) During the first period, from the 11th century to 1284, which was Pisa's most flourishing moment, a new model of church characterized by the refinement of polychrome architecture and the use of the loggia. Pisan style, which first appeared with the building of the cathedral, can be found in Tuscany (in particular in Lucca and Pistoia), but also in Pisa's maritime domain, as demonstrated, in simpler forms, by the parish churches of Sardinia and Corsica. 2) The second period was in the 14th century, when architecture in Tuscany was dominated by the monumental style of Giovanni Pisano (who sculpted the pulpit of the cathedral between 1302 and 1311). A new phase of pictorial art, the 14th century, was inaugurated after the plague (The Triumph of Death, a fresco by Francesco Traini in Campo Santo, about 1350).
Criterion IV - Constituting an extraordinary example of a building category, of an architectural or technological ensemble, or of a landscape, that illustrates one or more important phases in human history.
The monumental complex of Campo dei Miracoli, formed by religious buildings created to fulfil distinct and specific functions, is an exceptional example of medieval Christian architecture.
Criterion VI - Being directly or materially linked to living occurrences or traditions, ideas or beliefs, artistic or literary works, endowed with an exceptional universal meaning.
It was inside the cathedral that Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), at the age of 19, while observing the swaying of the bronze chandeliers created by Battista Lorenzi, discovered the theory of isochronism of small oscillations, a prelude to his precursory works on dynamics. From the top of the bell tower, he conducted experiments that led him to formulate the laws governing falling bodies. Two of the main buildings in the Campo dei Miracoli are directly and materially linked to a crucial stage in the history of physics.