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Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – the Cathedral Museum

  • Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – the Cathedral Museum

    The final piece of the jigsaw lies in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo – the Cathedral Museum. The museum attempts an overview of the Campo dei Miracoli, including a chronology, which begins in 1064 with the start of work on the Cathedral, followed by the Baptistery in 1154, the Campanile in 1173, and the Camposanto a century later, in 1277. This short burst of fireworks was followed by swift decline as the city’s harbour silted up. By 1406, the city had been conquered by Florence and was about to be eclipsed culturally by that city’s determination to build even bigger and bolder monuments. The museum is packed with 12th–15th-century sculptures and paintings. Giovanni Pisano’s ivory Virgin and Child (1299) is a highlight, using the natural shape of the ivory tusk to give the Virgin her naturalistic stance. There are models to show the construction techniques used to build the domed Baptistery, and to explain the marble-inlay technique used to give all the buildings their intricate exterior decoration. Best of all is the shady cloister, with a spectacular view of the Leaning Tower and the Cathedral.

    Address: Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum), Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa
    Web: www.opapisa.it

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