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PisaField of Miracles
Pisa's Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) is universally known by the name Piazza dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles), classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. The monuments in the Field of Miracles are the symbols of the three stages of a man’s life: the Baptistery, which represents birth, the Cathedral (Duomo), which stands for the whole journey of life, toghether with the passing of time, symbolized by the Leaning Tower and the Monumental Cemetery where all Souls go to rest forever.
PisaField of Miracles
The Piazza is covered by a large lawn: it was restored in the 19th century by the architect Alessandro Gherardesca. The leaning of the Tower is due to the sandy silt soil on which its foundations were laid, just three metres deep. Consolidation works in the 1990s reduced the leaning by around 40 centimetres and the Tower was once again opened to the public, albeit with more limited access than previously permitted.
The first stone of the Leaning Tower was set during the commemoration of the Assumption on 9th August 1173. It is 55 meters high (180 feet) and it has got a slope of 5 ° to the South: to get to the top of the tower you must climb 294 steps. The various floors have galleries and arcades except the last where there are no less than 7 bells. The tower was closed to the public from 1990 to 2001, due to stability problems.
The Cathedral is dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. It is the emblem of the Pisan Romanesque, designed by Buscheto in 1604, buti it also shows the influence of different styles and cultures: Byzantine components but especially Islamic testify the wealth and the importance achieved by the Maritime Republic of Pisa in the XVI and XVII Century.
The construction of Pisa Baptistry was begun in 1153 by Diotisalvi, architect of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The monument was renovated in 1278, according to an inscription between two pillars of the building. There is little information on the exact working methods used or on how the baptistry was built in its current form. The baptistry is surrounded by archlets decorated with heads and sculptures believed to be by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano and considered to be some of their most important works. At the centre of the monument there is a beautiful baptismal font; the 1260 pulpit by the great Nicola Pisano is set close to the altar.