Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)
.

The Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, is a square that contains four artistically important medieval monuments. They were constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries.

The Tuscan town Pisa used to have a fleet that reigned the Mediterranean Sea. Nowadays its Tower is known worldwide. This marble building is leaning over, and has always been.

The monuments included are:

  • the cathedral, with its bronze doors and mosaics
  • the baptistry, a round Romanesque building with an early Renaissance pulpit
  • the campanile (the 'Leaning Tower')
  • the walled cemetery Campo Santo with its frescoes

Pisa native Galileo Galilei is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp (not the present one) hanging from the ceiling of the nave of Pisa's cathedral. He also had dropped balls from the Leaning Tower to demonstrate that their time of descent was independent of their mass.

Map of Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)

Load map
Els

Visit May 2002

Campo dei Miracoli, Field of Miracles - what a name. But the green lawn in northwestern Pisa, with its marble medieval monuments, does deserve it.

May 2002

The leaning tower of course is the most famous attraction here. The beauty of the neighbouring 11th century cathedral and baptistry is stunning though. They dwarve the tower, both in size and elegance.

May 2002

For a steep 15 euro (and some patience) you can do yourself the favour of climbing the tower. It takes about 300 marbles steps to get to the top, where large bells can be found on the edges of the highest platform. When you're on top you can sense that the surface under your feet isn't particularly straight. It's not called the leaning tower for nothing.

May 2002

 

Community Reviews

Write a review


Jay T

USA - 18-Apr-18 -

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa) by Jay T

The Piazza del Duomo in Pisa is one of the most famous sites in Europe, entirely due to an aesthetically designed tower that was poorly engineered. Thankfully there are hordes of tourists willing to prop the poor tower up with a carefully positioned hand (or hands). I visited Pisa with my brother on a blustery day in the fall of 2003. We arrived by train from Florence, and noted the wind was so strong that the Arno River was almost flowing backwards. Despite the cool weather, the Piazza dei Miracoli was rather crowded with visitors, which made it a bit of a miracle to get pictures of the tower, cathedral, and the perfectly round baptistry with only a few other tourists in the background. I had hoped to go up the tower, but it was closed; I can't remember whether it was due to the wind or to construction. My brother was a bit tired of cathedrals and museums after his first week and a half in Europe, so we wandered around the square for about an hour before heading back to Florence. The architecture of the three main buildings in the piazza was incredible, and definitely worth a visit. Maybe someday I'll return and get to climb up the tower and tour the cathedral and baptistry.

Logistics: The Piazza del Duomo is small enough that it is extremely easy to walk around; the piazza may be reached by bus or by an approximately twenty minute walk from the Pisa train station.


Tom Livesey

United Kingdom - 25-Aug-15 -

Pisa is one of those WHSs that are best visited in the off-season in order to avoid the crowds. As such, I traveled there on a weekend in December 2014.

If you only go inside one of the buildings on a visit to Pisa you will be pleased to hear that my advice is to go with the free one: the cathedral. It was begun in 1064 and constructed from marble.

The ornate pulpit pictured below is a work of Giovanni Pisano, and is thought of as one of the most significant works of all medieval sculpture. Looking at works such as this that Michelangelo’s claim comes to mind that sculpture is the highest form of art. Another highlight of the cathedral is the Ascension of the Virgin painted in the dome. As with the Sistine Chapel, this work exploits the geometric properties of a church’s dome to heighten the portrayal of Mary ascending to heaven. The large Christ Pantocrator mural in the cathedral is a reminder of the building’s age. This depiction of Jesus as a learned and omniscient deity is particularly prevalent in Byzantine-era church buildings.

We next went into the Baptistry, which houses a cavernous space, with pride of place given to its baptismal font. Inside the Baptistry is another Pisano pulpit – this one by Giovanni’s father, Nicola Pisano. Its legs rest upon lions, which was a touch I liked.

The next day we went back to the piazza to check out the leaning tower and the cemetery. I wouldn’t really recommend paying the €15 or so that it costs to go up the tower, as it is best appreciated from the outside. One cool experience you do get for your money, though, is the very noticeable feeling of lopsidedness upon entering the tower’s entrance.


Ian Cade

UK - 29-Dec-13 -

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa) by Ian Cade

This is one of the most iconic sites on the whole list, one of the places I always reel off when asked "so what places are world heritage sites then". Alas it seems its fame is due mostly to its shortcomings, leading to some QI style remarks about how prevalent leaning towers are in Italy, or how a town in Germany has one that leans much more. The focus on the campaniles vertical issues does somewhat miss the point though. The 'Field of Miracles' is one of the most astonishing ensembles of Romanesque architecture in Europe.

The long wait and high fees for a climb of the tower rather put me off so instead we headed to the baptistery and cathedral. We were lucky to be the last people to enter the baptistery before a demonstration of its marvellous acoustics, which was a thoroughly enjoyable way to start our exploration. The well proportioned but slightly bare interior did offer lovely views of the surrounding marvels.

My real highlight though was the cathedral, the magnificent bronze doors hid a rather impressive interior with an impressive gilded wood ceiling and innumerable high quality art works. With all the focus on the bell tower it was rather surprising to see such a high quality site right next door.

Yes the notorious leaning tower did bring vast crowds, especially in early august, and yes many people were there only to have their photo taken 'holding it up', but I still found it a very worthwhile visit.

Pisa itself was a nice town by Italian standards (thus it would be outstanding in most European countries) and de'Coltelli by the river served magnificent gelato. It also has an airport very close to the city centre, but it wasn't necessarily as easy to get there and back as it perhaps could have been.

Our swift trip around Pisa was rather rewarding and the astonishing charms of one of Europe's most beautiful architectural ensembles easily overcomes the vast crowds and shortcomings of the travel infrastructure. There is much more to Pisa than some dodgy foundations and taking a step back to peer through the crowds reveals something of real charm.

(Site 7: Experience 5)


Clyde

Malta - 07-Sep-12 -

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa) by Clyde

I visited this WHS in September 2006. Piazza del Duomo houses 4 masterpieces of medieval architecture: the cathedral, the baptistry, the Leaning Tower and the cemetery. Climbing The Leaning Tower, one of Italy's most famous landmarks, was the highlight of my visit and a really unique and strange experience.


Jennifer Smith

Australia - 28-Mar-09 -

The visit was wonderful! Though I did not climb the Tower,I visited the Duomo and I loved every moment. The architecture amazed me.


Derek Paton

England - 13-Jul-08 -

Hi, I had a great time in Pisa, impromptu classical performances in the bell tower, a Bernada Fink concert,The locals, walks in the nature reserve, resturants, roman ruins, the light on the stone of the duomo ,colours, food, the cosmopolitan atmosphere, surrounding Tuscany, the list is endless I don't know about one day, for me one month wouldn't be enough.


Steve Waszak

United States of America - 27-Apr-08 -

Once you get past the cheap vendors, peddlars and pick pockets lining the approach to the Field of Miracles it is a truly beautiful place to see. All four white marble buildings in one large open area is a unique setting. Pisa needs to get the cheap vendors out of this area to make it what it really could be for people visiting from all over the world. I don't recommend it to friends visiting Italy because the vendors and pan handlers have ruined this priceless gem of art and architecture. Shame on the people of Pisa for letting this happen to their own heritage.


Frederik Dawson

Netherlands - 28-Sep-06 -

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa) by Frederik Dawson

The first time I saw this place I truly understand why the Italian affectionately named it "Piazza del Miracoli". The three white marble buildings were situated in the middle of green lawn under the blue sky. I was impressed by the colours of white from marble, green from grass, blue from the crystal clear sky under the tuscan sun and brown from the surrounding brick wall.

After walking in the mazed-like small old town, I finally saw the famous "Torre Pandante", which is the most beautiful belfry I have seen. Even though this belfry was constructed for religious purposes, many people including me recognized it from the science schoolbook, and it's unusual lean structure. People around the world call it " The leaning tower of Pisa". As one of the symbol of Europe, millions of tourists come to admire its unique appearance every year.

For myself, the leaning of the belfry is not an important reason, but it's the marvelous of the whole complex, which is included the cathedral, the baptistery and the belfry, that make me to stun every time I have been there. The beauty of this place is deservedly its name "The place of a miracle"


Zack Culvert

USA - 08-Jun-06 -

Really disappointed, after seeing other sites in Tuscany. There is the tower, the Piazza, and an EMPTY duomo, as all the art were lost as the Pisans lost a war to the Florentines(?). Now it's just a tourist strip selling souvenirs, and thousands of stupid American tourists taking pictures leaning towards the tower. Better plan the day to spend four hours in Luca (on the train from Florence), and just one hour in Pisa, and go right back to Florence.


Ben Pastore

USA - 08-Nov-05 -

My visit here was at the age of eight years old. How my mother let my go climbing around those precarious stairs and ledges is beond me. Regardless, even at that tender age I remember the magnificent view and could tell that this was someplace special


evelyn

australia - 30-Sep-05 -

The leaning tower of pisa was a great place to be. Ut was quite a rainy day so overall it wasnt really fantastic. though i was able to climb those 300 marble steps all the way to the top. It was worth all that, the view was really over whelming.


Klaus Freisinger

Austria -

The Leaning Tower of Pisa must be one of the most famous monuments in the world, and going to this city gives you a distinct sense of déjà-vu - I must have seen this thing before! Well, apart from the Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa doesn't have that much to offer and is just an average city (especially because it has lost its once vibrant seaport centuries ago), but the piazza is really great and one of the grandest architectural ensembles you will see anywhere. So, even if many Italian cities have their own campanile, you should go to Pisa to see the real thing.


Graeme

UK -

After all the hype that the city receives, Pisa is a disappointment. The entire Piazza del Duomo is a giant tourist trap, and I still don't understand why this particular leaning tower, of all the leaning towers in Italy, gained such a reputation. I will say, however, that the Baptistery is interesting, particularly when the ticket collector performs an impromptu concert to demonstrate the perfect acoustics. Beyond the Piazza, Pisa offers little to the curious tourist, making even a day trip a bit underwhelming.


Vickie Smith

United States -

I was thrilled to see the Tower after hearing so much about it and seeing photos all my life. My husband didn't want to spend the money to climb it, but he changed his mind. We weren't sorry--ther were fantastic views, and we could very much sense the leaning while we climbed. I ended up climbing many towers in Tuscany because this was such a great experience.


Kate Mitchell

Great Britain -

I visited Pisa in August 2004. The first view of the tower was very exciting, probably because it is such a famous monument. I didn't climb the tower (it is now 16EUR), but greatly enjoyed the whole Piazza, the museums and especially the Cathedral. It's well worth getting the combined ticket (just EUR10.50) to see all that the Piazza del Duomo has to offer.


Gatis

Latvia -

I visited Pisa in August 2001. Then it was not aloud to climb the tower, but it was interesting to see the works of reinforcement ongoing there.


Site Info

Full Name
Piazza del Duomo, Pisa
Unesco ID
395
Country
Italy
Inscribed
1987
Type
Cultural
Criteria
1 2 4 6
Categories
Religious structure - Christian
Link
By ID

Site History

2007 Extended

To include the Piazza del Duomo as a spatial composition, by extending the core zone to all three visual axes that lead to the square.

1987 Inscribed

Locations

The site has 1 locations

Piazza del Duomo (Pisa)

Connections

The site has

Architecture
Constructions
Damaged
Human Activity
Individual People
Religion and Belief
Science and Technology
Timeline
Trivia
WHS Hotspots

Visitors

Community Members have visited.

A. Mehmet Haksever AC AP-TW AYB Aalberty Adam@rainoff.com Adolfo Afshin Iranpour Aitia Alberto Peterle Alessandro Votta Alex Pflugfelder Alexander Barabanov Alexander F. Somers Alexander Lehmann Alexander Parsons Alfons and Riki Verstraeten Alfonso Muralles Ali Zingstra Alias65 Alice Alice DuCharme Alisha Aljaz Alliosoncita La unica Peruchita Aloysius Boo Altacyr AmandaMcCadams Ana Lozano Anders Burholm Andrea & Uwe Zimmermann Andrea Gormley Andrea Szabo Andreas Thum AndreasThum Andres Gomez Casanova Andrew Wembridge Angel Ying Liu Angela Vandyck Anita Lantos Anna Anna Wludarska Annalett Swanepoel Anne Ansitong AnteEP1979 Antlane Antonio J. Argo Artur Anuszewski Artworks Ask Gudmundsen Aslak Eide B Assif Astrid Wagner Atcardamone Atila Ege Atuzhikova Babysiew Bailon Balazs Szücs Bamse Bas Baudy-Floc h Ben Ami Ben Buckley Ben Pastore Berni Davis Bertrand Bgbaum Bgcostelini Bgcostelini Bhine95 Bin Bmerei Bob Finnie Bob Parda Bob pateman Bodil Ankerly Bojana Bartol Boroka Szamosi Bosswench Brigitte Huber Butterflybird Byronb Cameron Wilde Camille Carlo Medina Carolinerowe25 Carstenhansen Caspar Dechmann Cat and Paula Catalina Belso Celine Gramlich Cezar Grozavu ChenMing Chenboada Chenqtao Cheryl Christer Sundberg Christian Ochse Christian Wagner Christine Schmit Chriswatson93@hotmail.co.uk Cindy Casey Claire Bradshaw Claire Whiteley Clark Kuhling Clyde Cobaltrage Col Colin Comensal Coppi Corbomite Corinne Vail Craig Harder Cristina Erba DL DMORMAR DMORMAR DOn Szumowski Dachangjin3 Dagmara Dale Wursten Dan Pettigrew Dani Cyr Daniel Chazad Daniel Gabi Daniela Hohmann Dankir Daveycanuck David Aaronson & Melanie Stowell David Alexander David Berlanda David Dove David Gee David King David Marton David Pastor de la Orden Davied Dean Swift Ded Vseved Delpupp Devenyi Dgjohansson Dibro Dimitar Krastev Dimitrios Polychronopoulos Dioni Dirk-pieter Don Irwin Donald M Parrish Jr Donna S Doug Robertson Dradrienn Duesi73 EDC Eanna81 Echwel Edward Elaine Baran Elaine Ganderton Elia Vettorato Elida Elisabeth Fransisca Situmorang Ellen Nielsen Ellenmck Els Slots Emason Enrico Cerrini Enrique Clemente Erdem Engin Tavlayan Eric Lorentz Erik Persson Eva Kisgyorgy Evajuk FK FS F_Teno Fabi-ddorf Fan Yibo Farinelli FedeCambo Fedekiwi Feldhase Felicite Fairer-Wessels Felix Femke Roos Fernando Liu Feudikbenson Filip Murlak Filipacfa Filippo Ubaldi Fkarpfinger Fool79 Frankwsolak Frederik Dawson Frediehung Fredrik Tjøgersen Fuaron G. ingraham G.L. Ingraham Garellos Gary Arndt Geert Luiken Geo George Evangelou George Gdanski George Yu Gernot Gewo Gi Gianni Bianchini Gilberto Martínez Gilles Gleembru Glendaviste Glubu Gonçalo Elias Greg Troy Gretell Scott Gustavo Leit Gwythyr Hadas Midbari Hadrianus Haining Guan Hamid Handballrama Hannes Muehlbacher Happyrini Harald T. Harmen Hdimoshi Helen Homadism Hopehu Howard Howard Brayer Hsjamsil Hsuan Hao Yang Hubert Hurrvinek I&W Rohde IC Iain Jackson Ian Cade Ian Coldwell Ibonez Ilya Burlak Ingemar Eriksson Inigo Cia Ivan Ivan Rucek Ivana Greslikova J Mitchell J?rg-Bernd Bonekamp JBTOR JFrederking Jack Jaehyeon Jay Park Jakob Frenzel Jakubmarin Jan Korpeg Jan-Willem Janie Switzer Janina Lehmann Jarek Pokrzywnicki Jaroslav Klement Jarrod_Byham Jasam Jason and Corrinna Javier Coro Jay T Jaynew Jean-Philippe Platroz Jean-Rene Berge Jeanne OGrady Jeff N. Jenni Jennifer Prout Jens Jessica Cox Jessica Rademacher Jgera Jiangnan Cai Jianhui Song Joachim Nölte-Baumann Joao Durao Joao Farminhao Jochem Taanman Joel Baldwin Johanna Nybelius John booth Johnson Zhao Jon Bauer Jon Eshuijs Jonas Hagung Jonas Kremer Jordi Martinez Jorge fitzmaurice Jorgioz Jos Schmitz Jose Antonio Collar Josef Mikus Joseph Josie Borst Joyce van Soest João Aender Jtb105 Judit Dalla Judith Tanner Juergen Geiger Juha Kokkonen Julianna Lees Julirose Gonzales Jun Jun Zhou Jungliemonkey Juwels KAO KYLE ROUSSEL Kai Thorben Karen Karen Kunzel Karin Heyl Karina Karl Grossner Karol Estrada Kasienka5 Katelewisingermany Katelewisingermany Katharina Kati Drimmer Kayakka Kbecq Kelly Henry Kevin Knight Klara Woodson Klaus Freisinger Klmargit Koen Vliegenthart Krijn Kris Umlauf Krisztina zill Ktisgodzilla Kutasp LKERPS Lale Eralp Turkey Lanyapirosajtomogott Lara Adler Lars Gunnar Gardo Laszlo Buga Lauren Leonie Geurts Leontine Helleman Leslie84 Lesoruble Liam Liang Zhou Lidb93 Linda Sereno Lindsay Hasluck Lisa Ross Lisu Marian Lizzy Lois Dekker Lonny Steeghs Lorenzo Mejino Luca Molinari Lucia Luciano Imperadori Ludvan Luigi Tura Luis Filipe Gaspar Luisfreire Lukasz Palczewski Lut & Theo M. Huineman de la Cuadra M.HATADA MAURO PODDA MBennett MHL MHasuly MMM MaYumin Maddie Reeves Mademmer Magnien Majkl20 Malcolm Malgorzata Kopczynska Marcel Benard Marcel staron Maria Mariam Marianna Marie Morlon Mariska Marius Mark K. Markassonne Markus Marta Lempert Martin Funkhauser Martin Lind (Switzerland) Martina Martina Librio Martina Ruckova Marty Massimiliano croce Matejicek Mateusz Matthew Harris Matthewsharris Maureen Benefield Mauro Martino MaxHeAnou Mdnichol Melissa Harder Merveil Michael Mett Michael Novins Michael Rohde Michael Turtle Michael anak Kenyalang Michal Kozok Michal Marciniak Michele Armstrong Michelle Michelle.has.murphy Michiel Dekker Miguel Gallego Miguel Marchi Mikael Bjork Mikal Ahmet Mikko Milan Jirasek Miloš Tašković Miriam laschever Misio_pysio Monica Monica Tasciotti Monika and Rini Morodhi Nadia Balduccio Naim Y Nan Nanvano Nathalie Goldberg Naveed Panjwani Neil McPaul Nevin Salman Nicole P Nihal Ege Nikolamus Nils Kronenberg Nina Padro Ninalr Ninifishes Nmocosta Olilan Olivier MONGIN Oscar Martinez PJ PabloNorte Pang Liang Fong Parrot Pascal Cauliez Pat Martin Pat OBrien Patphilly Patrick C. Venenoso Patriks Patty Verhoeven Paul Hilder Paul Schofield Paula Paulfrancois Peltzi Peter Day Peter Loov Peter Pang PeterA PeterH Petteri Philipp Peterer PhotographyBar Pierre T Pieter Dijkshoorn Pietprive06@kpnmail.nl Piotr Sebastian Sikon Pressdm Pumpkinelf Purrfect Puya Qqalexqq R. D. Pepper Rafabram Randi Thomsen Rascleberry Ray matlock Reza Ricardo Silva Riccardo Quaranta Rickard Alfredsson RobRos Roberta MacRae Robin F. Rochelle Angus Roel Sterken Roger Ourset Roger Wall Rom Roman Koeln Ronald Lange Ronaldo Michels Rosen Rswood Rvanbuskirk Rvedda Ryan Ryan Oliver STEFAN Sabrina Liebehentschel Sally Galman Sandersx2 Schnitzel Secilie Kui Sergio Arjona Serimari Seudy Shandos Cleaver Sharon Wheelock Shaun Ankers Sheila Shijie ZHU Shirley Xue Shyeen Simone Cannon de Bastardo SirLoydd Socon Solivagant Squiffy Stanimir Stanislaw Warwas SteO153 Stefan A. Michelfeit Stefan and Mia Stephanvermeulen Stephen Brooker Stetrab Sue hayton Sumiko Yabushita Sun_jianyuan@me.com Super-Sophie Susan Stair Sutul Suzy OBrien Svein Heltberg Svermeulen Szabo Viktoria Szucs Tamas TAN TIANG SOON Tamara Ratz Tamasin Sutton Tammy Gouldstone Tatiana Nikulnikova The Salmons Theresa Goh Thibault Magnien Thijs van den Berg Thomas Buechler Thomas Kunz Thomas cahalan Thomas van der Walt Thorben Timothy C Easton Tjagmax Tkinou Tom Flaten Tom Livesey Tommy W Tonioto Tonisan Tony Crouch Tony Ozanic Tony0001 Topaas Tracy Dean Tracy Harder Tram2net Travel Addicts Travelindan Trevni Tsunami Uros Bonsek VB73 VLabhard ValiaVeweth Van Hung Vanessa Buechler Veelineen Vernon Prieto Victor Corr Vidiot Virp Vlad Lesnikov WHS Lux WILLIAM RICH Wait About Walter Walter H. Watkinstravel Werner Huber Widy Heuver Willem van Altena William Quan Winter Wojciech Fedoruk Wolfgang Hlousa WolfgangHl Xander Taylor Xangadib Xiong Wei Xiquinho Silva Yi Han Goh Yuri Samozvanov ZX You ZiggyAngelo8 Zizmondka Zlatko Rihter Zoë Sheng Zsuzsanna Forray