Two Great Cathedral Buildings

High School ・Architecture ・APA ・3 Sources

Italy is home to both Pisa Cathedral and Pisa Baptistery. With the use of Romanesque architecture adopted from medieval Europe, featured with semicircular arches, these buildings were built to stand firm. This signifies the pride and wealth of Pisa. This Pisa Cathedral building is a church in Pisa; even though it is not a Basilica, it is as well the archbishop's office. Its expansion has been made over the years to the current complex building (Speiser, 2015). The old Baptist building was then replaced by Pisa Baptistery. During the transition from the Romanesque style to the Gothic style of Architecture, it was one of the buildings built. The two buildings were both meant to serve the purposes of religious center. Materials Materials needed to build the Baptist building were Limestone, bricks and stones while the Cathedral building if full of wood, stones and marbles.

The Exterior designs

Pisa Cathedral had numerous bronze objects, mosaics, marbles that were multicolored, among them griffin which was placed on the roof to the east. Master Rainaldo built the grey façade and the white marble coloring them with marble insects. The four levels of loggia above the three doors and windows lying behind them are divided the cornicles. Saint Rainerius, which faces bell tower, was the entrance door to the cathedral. The door of Saint Rainerius was decorated with attractive Byzantine traditions. It was designed with 24 bronze relief sculptures of the Old Testament stories. The top of the door is a gallery with 4 images of the angels and evangelists, Madonna and Child.

On the other hand, the exterior part of the Pisa Baptistery had the lower area designed with classical pillars and circular arches which is plainly a Romanesque architecture. On the upper area of the Baptist, the fine circular arches were made into pointed arches pointing to the sky showing an evidence of the gothic style, which was the latest stage in the Romanesque style. sIt was decorated with beautiful sculptures and ornaments with the main portal having the classical pillars covered with a relief. The relief hanged above the entrance showing images of Saint John the Baptist especially his life episodes. The relief top had separate small sculptures with the image of Christ in the middle, accompanied by Saint John the Baptist, Madonna, evangelists and many angels (Ching, Jarzombek & Prakash, 2017). All these designs gave a beautiful scenery of the Pisa Baptist.

Interior design

The interior of the Pisa Cathedral was covered with black and white marble, with a wooden coffered ceiling having a gold leaf decoration bearing the court of arms of Medici. Where the transepts and the central nerve cross in the interior dome was an encaustic painting having the image of the glorious image of the Virgin accompanied with Pisan artists. The large mosaic in the arch of Christ between Saint John and the Virgin, Cimabue’s last painting was completed by Vincino the Madonna appearing on the left. It was molded from inlaid marble for patterns. Saint Cosmas and Damien statues are on the pylons near the entrance (Aita et al., 2017).

Conversely internal part of Pisa Baptist had no serious ornamentations, with the few existing being extraordinary. It had stained glasses with awesome font that was large enough to accommodate a swimming pool for baptism since they used immersion as a baptismal style. There was an attractive bronze statue in the middle of the font that depict Saint John the Baptist since the church was named after this saint, Baptistery of Saint John its real name. It also had a beautiful pulpit designed with several pillars and pieces of relief depicting the life of Christ.


Aita, D., Barsotti, R., Bennati, S., Caroti, G., & Piemonte, A. (2017). 3-DIMENSIONAL Geometric Survey and Structural Modelling of the Dome of Pisa Cathedral. ISPRS-International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences, 39-46.

Ching, F. D., Jarzombek, M. M., & Prakash, V. (2017). A global history of architecture. John Wiley & Sons.

Speiser, D. (2015). The Symmetries of the Baptistery and the Leaning Tower of Pisa Leaning Tower of Pisa. In Architecture and Mathematics from Antiquity to the Future (pp. 535-546). Springer International Publishing.

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