This splendid building is on of the most beautiful Italian Cathedrals
built in the Romanesque-Gothic style. The faade is the finest part of the
building, thanks to the graceful, the imposing marble walls enlivened with
alternate pink and black stripes or rather dark and green and the nice
Portal and arches are decorated with little columns. Spirals, flowers,
cherubs etc. Carvings are in the lunettes. The faade is also decorated
with statues and ornaments, culminating in the great frame into which the
rose window is inserted. The Busts of Thirty-six Patriarchs and Prophets
are placed in little niches all around, on the top is the Holy Virgin and
in the triangular sectors the Four Evangelists.
The sides are covered with alternate black and white stripes. On the left
side is the palace of the Archbishop, on the right side are the walls of
the unfinished New Cathedral. The four very fine blind double window in
the wall of the right aisle are the faithful reproduction of those of The
Abbey of San Galgano; The double windows in the nave are also to be
admired. The cupola has hexagonal shape and it is covered with ribbed
tiles and is surmounted with a polygonal lantern.
The interior is grandiose and austere, dominated by the rhythm of the
arches resting on bi-colored columns. The Church is about 90 meters long
and 25 meters wide. The style is Romanesque, though not without some
touches of Gothic; the shape is that a Latin cross with one nave, two
aisles, a transept, apse and dome.
The nave is separated from the aisles by two rows of five different styled
pillars; the pillars continue in the cross and reach the final vault; they
are twenty-six all in black and white horizontal marble stripes in equal
succession cover the pillars in the nave, as well as in the transept and
in the head of cross. The vaults over the transept are ribbed and painted
blue with golden stars.
Close to the transept stands the finest piece of sculpture work treasured
in the Cathedral ; the marble pulpit made by Nicola Pisano.
It contains also works by Gian Lorenzo Bernini ( 1608- 1680) the greatest
Italian sculptor of the Baroque age.
Other interesting Tourist Places, lovely Towns, Villages and
art Cities close to Siena in Tuscany,