The Duomo or Cathedral of Saint Mary Assumption of Siena is one of the largest Gothic style temples that can be discovered in Italy. A construction that began in 1215, although the works could not be considered completed until the 14th century.
Before entering the interior of the cathedral temple, it is worth talking about its external appearance. Highlighting the separation between buildings, as is common in many other great churches of Tuscany, Here too the different buildings that make up the cathedral complex are perfectly separated. Hence, the temple itself is distinguished from the building that serves as a baptistery or the bell tower, something that can also be seen in cities like Pisa or Florence.
Siena Duomo Facade
And in addition to differentiating these buildings, you also have to admire the main façade of the Duomo, a work created by the architect and sculptor Giovanni Pisano, who years before to make this façade he had worked with his father Nicola Pisano in the creation of the beautiful pulpit inside the Cathedral.
In this façade, marble ashlars are used, distinguishing different colors: white, green and red. All of it has an artistic criteria very typical of the mind of a sculptor, hence its volumetry, and obviously the presence of numerous sculptures that representancient sages and prophets.
The play of colors on the outside is not only seen on the façade, but throughout the building, albeit playing with black and white stones. A duotone that is repeated inside the temple, especially on the walls and pillars, since many of the vaults are decorated in an intense blue tone in which golden stars shine.
Interior of Siena Cathedral
And of course, the floor is also conceived in a very dynamic and pictorial way, since it is made with marble inlays. Although, it is a floor where they have been incorporated, between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, up to 40 panels with scenes of both historical and biblical themes.
In other words, the entire Cathedral was conceived as a large building that housed many works of art, including the famous Madonna by Duccio Buonisegna which is currently exhibited in the annex Siena Duomo Opera Museum.
And another very interesting 13th-century painting has also been found, in this case in the crypt of the Cathedral, which is accessed from the very base of the pulpit sculpted by Pisano. Until 1999 the existence of this crypt was unknown and it has been quite a discovery, since completely painted walls have been found inside, but curiously with the dry painting technique, which is obviously different from the much more common technique of the frescoes that are applied when the walls are still plastered wet.