Palazzo del Papa Country Suites

The Cathedral of Siena

Palazzo del Papa Suites

The Cathedral of Siena

The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta (Duomo di Siena) is another focal point of the city of Siena.
Built between 1200 and 1300 by Nicola Pisano and his son Giovanni in Romanesque-Gothic style, it is a splendid example of architecture of that era.

The Cathedral most likely replaced the Roman Castrum, a fortification with four towers, one of which became the current bell tower. The dome was built in 1259 by Nicola Pisano while his son Giovanni was entrusted with the construction of the facade. In the early 1300s the works extended to the transept and the choir.

In 1339 Siena had become a rich and prosperous city. It was therefore hypothesized to further expand the Cathedral with a very large building, a new Cathedral, of which the current structure was supposed to represent only the shortest side of the cross.
The works began and are still visible today in the large wall which faces south (the so-called “big façade”).
The arrival of the plague in 1348 caused this dream of grandeur to collapse and today the bases of the columns of the new structure are still visible (in the current Museum of the Opera).

The cathedral of Siena is built on a Latin cross plan, with three naves, and with a twelve-sided dome at the base.
The facade, whose main material is a splendid white marble, is divided into two areas: the lower one, which housed a series of statues whose originals can still be admired in the Opera Museum. The upper one, designed by Camaino di Crescentino and which would later influence the frontispiece of the Orvieto Cathedral.

The cathedral of Siena is a true treasure chest of works of art. By way of example only, the 15th century stoups by Antonio Federighi, the Annunciation by Simone Martini (now moved), the Chapel of the Vow by Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the high altar by Baldassarre Peruzzi, the pulpit by Nicola Pisano, the Stained glass (now a reproduction) by Duccio di Boninsegna, Saint John the Baptist by Donatello, etc. etc.

Another priceless treasure preserved in the Cathedral of Siena is the Piccolomini Library, commissioned by Pope Pius III in 1492, and frescoed by Pinturicchio (and his pupil Raphael) with 10 large scenes of the events in the life of Pope Pius II.

Entrance to the Cathedral of Siena is upon payment and the ticket can also be purchased online, click here for the ticket.

Percorso fino al Duomo di Siena

How to get there

Palazzo del Papa Suites is just 1 km as the crow flies from the historic center of Siena. To get to the Cathedral of Siena, you can proceed by car to the Parking il Campo (see map, about 15 minutes) and then continue easily on foot for about ten minutes. Alternatively you can park directly near the Cathedral.