Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral), Siena

Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral), Siena (must see)

Siena Cathedral is one of Italy's most exquisite Cathedrals. The Cathedral was completed in 1263 on the site of a church dating to the 9th century. This stunning Cathedral has a transept, a dome, and a bell tower and features artwork from Italy's most prominent artists.

The dome has a hexagonal base and supporting columns. Famous sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the lantern on top of the dome. The bell tower features six bells; the oldest bell was cast in 1149. The Cathedral was built with white and dark-colored marble in alternating stripes. White and black are the colors of Siena and represent the white and black horses of the city's founders, Senius and Aschius.

Giovanni Pisano, Nicola Pisano's son, created the west facade with carved sculptures of the prophets and philosophers. The original sculptures are now housed in the Cathedral Treasures Museum, while copies are displayed in the facade.

The mosaic inlay floor is the Cathedral's prized possession and has been called the most beautiful floor ever made. Fifty-six inlay panels were drawn by various Sienese artists and transposed into the marble mosaic inlay.

The most celebrated Italian artists created artwork on display in the Cathedral. Donatello created a statue of St. John the Baptist in the St. John the Baptist chape. Michelangelo carved four statues, St. Peter, St. Paul, St. Pius, and St. Augustine, for the Piccolomini altar. Gian Lorenzo Bernini carved the statues of St. Mary Magdalen and St. Jerome in the Chapel of the Vow. Nicola Pisano carved the pulpit that can be seen in the north transept.

A copy of Duccio di Boninsegna's stained glass window is on display. The original is in the Cathedral Treasures Museum. Several other notable stained glass works beautify the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Choir features eight wood-carved inlays by Fra Giovanni da Verona. Underneath the choir, a narthex, long filled with rubble, was excavated between 1999 and 2003. The excavation uncovered 13th-century frescoes depicting scenes from the life of Christ.

Why You Should Visit

The Siena Cathedral is regarded as one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in Italy and shows the pinnacle of Siena's beauty and commitment to artistry. Statues by Donatello, Michelangelo, and Bernini are just some of the artworks on display.

Tips

Inside the main entrance, there's a sign with a map of the Cathedral's floorplan. Take a photo of this map with your phone, so you don't get lost as you explore the massive Cathedral and take in all the sights.

The Cathedral is open until 7 pm and is less crowded in the early evening. The floor is only uncovered during specific dates; check online to see if the floor is uncovered during your visit.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Siena. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral) on Map

Sight Name: Duomo di Siena (Siena Cathedral)
Sight Location: Siena, Italy (See walking tours in Siena)
Sight Type: Religious
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Siena, Italy

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Create Your Own Walk in Siena

Creating your own self-guided walk in Siena is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Siena Old Town Walking Tour

Siena Old Town Walking Tour

Siena was originally settled by Etruscans of Italy and later settled by Romans, who emulated Etruscan culture and named the city Sena Julia. The Lombard Kings then developed the city. By the 12th century, Siena was self-governing.

Siena established the Council of Nine in 1270. This Council was responsible for a flourishing economy, a focus on art, and a building boom. In 1348, Siena was...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.1 Km or 0.7 Miles
Siena's Palaces Walking Tour

Siena's Palaces Walking Tour

A leisurely stroll through downtown Siena – a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of imperious castles, palaces and other historic buildings – promises an exciting day of discovery and a pleasant experience for architecture buffs.

While most Italian cities have a church on their main square, Siena's famous Piazza Del Campo gathers around the city hall, known as Palazzo Pubblico...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.7 Km or 0.4 Miles
Medieval Siena Walking Tour

Medieval Siena Walking Tour

Siena is a beautiful medieval city whose Gothic-era identity, acquired between the 12th and 15th centuries, has been successfully preserved due to the centuries of political and economic irrelevance in the shadow of its grander neighbor Florence. Today's Siena is a cultural gold mine and ideal place to revel in medieval Italy.

No tour of Siena is complete without visiting its heart, the...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.5 Km or 2.2 Miles