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Museo dell’ Opera Metropolitana – art, sculpture and rooftop panorama

  • Museo dell’ Opera Metropolitana – art, sculpture and rooftop panorama

    The Cathedral and the Cathedral Museum should be seen as one entity as they share several spaces. The Museum is set in the eastern section of the Cathedral and displays Pisano’s original statues for the façade. Instead, Siena’s best-loved work is Duccio’s Maestà, the Virgin Enthroned, which graced the High Altar until 1506. This, the largest known medieval panel painting ever, was escorted from the artist’s workshop to the Duomo in a torchlit procession in 1311. Although Byzantine Gothic in style, the painting is suffused with melancholy charm. The delicate gold and red colouring is matched by Duccio’s grace of line, which influenced Sienese painting for the next two centuries. The Sienese believe that Giotto copied Duccio but sacrificed beauty to naturalism.

    For many visitors, even more impressive is the rooftop walk, known as the Panorama from the Unfinished Façade. These are arguably the finest views of Siena. The sunset view from the parapets is a summary of Siena: a red-brick medieval masterpiece. The so-called Gate of Heaven also gives you access to the roof of the Cathedral. It’s a walk above the star-spangled vaulted nave, which reveals inside-outside vistas of the Cathedral and cupola.

    Pass: the Opa Si Pass is valid for three days and includes entry to the Cathedral, Library, Baptistery, Crypt, Gate of Heaven, Museo dell’Opera and Panorama.

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