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A 15-euro ticket buys you this view from the top of the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa, Italy. 
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A 15-euro ticket buys you this view from the top of the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa, Italy.
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The Duomo and the Baptistry seen from the Leaning Tower of PisaThe Duomo and the Baptistry seen from the Leaning Tower of PisaInside the Leaning Tower of PisaView from the overhanging side of the Leaning Tower of PisaStairs leading to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The interior of the cathedral in Pisa, Italy. 
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The interior of the cathedral in Pisa, Italy.

Wikipedia: The heart of the Piazza del Duomo is, obviously, the Duomo, the medieval cathedral, entitled to Santa Maria Assunta (St. Mary of the Assumption). This is a five-naved cathedral with a three-naved transept. The church is known also as the Primatial, the archbishop of Pisa being a Primate since 1092.

Construction was begun in 1064 by the architect Busketo, and set the model for the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style of architecture. The mosaics of the interior, as well as the pointed arches, show a strong Byzantine influence. [...]

The interior is faced with black and white marble and has a gilded ceiling and a frescoed dome. It was largely redecorated after a fire in 1595, which destroyed most of the medieval art works. Fortunately, the impressive mosaic, in the apse, of Christ in Majesty, flanked by the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Evangelist, survived the fire. It evokes the mosaics in the church of Monreale, Sicily. Although it is said that the mosaic was done by Cimabue, only the head of St. John was done by the artist in 1302 and was his last work, since he died in Pisa in the same year. The cupola, at the intersection of the nave and the transept, was decorated by Riminaldi showing the ascension of the Blessed Virgin.

Galileo 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. That lamp, smaller and simpler than the present one, it is now kept in the Camposanto, in the Aulla chapel.

The impressive granite Corinthian columns between the nave and the aisle came originally from the mosque of Palermo, captured by the Pisans in 1063. The coffer ceiling of the nave was replaced after the fire of 1595. The present gold-decorated ceiling carries the coat of arms of the Medici.

The elaborately carved pulpit (1302-1310), which also survived the fire, was made by Giovanni Pisano and is one the masterworks of medieval sculpture. It was packed away during the redecoration and was not rediscovered and re-erected until 1926. The pulpit is supported by plain columns (two of which mounted on lions sculptures) on one side and by caryatids and a telamon on the other: the latter represent St. Michael, the Evangelists, the four cardinal virtues flanking the Church, and a bold, naturalistic depiction of a naked Hercules. A central plinth with the liberal arts supports the four theological virtues. The present day reconstruction of the pulpit is not the correct one. Now it lies not in the same original position, that was nearer the main altar, and the disposition of the columns and the panels are not the original ones. Also the original stairs (maybe in marble) were lost.

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Giovanni Pisano's pulpit in the Duomo in PisaGiovanni Pisano's pulpit in the Duomo in Pisa
On the balcony of the 12th-century Baptistry in Pisa, Italy. 
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On the balcony of the 12th-century Baptistry in Pisa, Italy.

"The Baptistery, which as in all the ancient Italian churches, is separated from the cathedral, stands about fifty paces from it full in front. It is raised on three steps, is circular, and surmounted with a graceful dome. It has two stories, formed of halfpillars supporting round arches; the undermost is terminated by a bold cornice; the second, where the pillars stand closer, and the arches are smaller, runs up into numberless high pediments and pinnacles, all topped by statues. Above these, rises a third story without either pillars or arches, but losing itself in high pointed pediments with pinnacles, crowned again with statues without number. The dome is intersected by long lines of very prominent stone fretwork, all meeting in a little cornice near the top, and terminating in another little dome which bears a statue of St. John the Baptist, the titular saint of all such edifices. The interior is admired for its proportion. Eight granite columns form the under story, which supports a second composed of sixteen marble pillars; on this rests the dome. The ambo or desk for reading is of most beautiful marble, upheld by ten little granite pillars, and adorned with basso relievos, remarkable rather for the era and the sculptor than for their intrinsic merit. The font is also marble, a great octagon vase, raised on three steps and divided into five compartments, the largest of which is in the middle. The dome is famous for its echo, as the sides produce the well-known effect of whispering galleries. This edifice, which is the common baptistery of the city as there is no other font in Pisa, was erected about the middle of the twelfth century by the citizens at large, who, by a voluntary subscription of a fiorino each, defrayed the expenses." (John Chetwode Eustace: A Tour through Italy, Vol. II, London 1813).
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The Baptistry in Pisa
Restored 14th-century frescoes in the Camposanto complex in Pisa, Italy. 
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Restored 14th-century frescoes in the Camposanto complex in Pisa, Italy.

Wikipedia: The Campo Santo, also known as Camposanto Monumentale ("monumental cemetery") or Camposanto Vecchio ("old cemetery"), is a historical edifice at the northern edge of the Cathedral Square. "Campo Santo" can be literally translated as "holy field", because it is said to have been built around a shipload of sacred soil from Golgotha, brought back to Pisa from the Fourth Crusade by Ubaldo de' Lanfranchi, archbishop of Pisa in the 12th century. The building was the fourth and last one to be raised in the Cathedral Square. It dates from a century after the bringing of the soil from Golgotha, and was erected over the earlier burial ground. The construction of this huge, oblong Gothic cloister was begun in 1278 by the architect Giovanni di Simone. He died in 1284 when Pisa suffered a defeat in the naval battle of Meloria against the Genoans. The cemetery was only completed in 1464.

The walls were once covered in frescoes; the first were applied in 1360, the last about three centuries later. The first was the Crucifixion by Francesco Traini, in the south western side. Then, continuing to right, in the southern side, the Last Judgement, The Hell, The Triumph of Death and the Anacoreti nella Tebaide, usually attributed to Buonamico Buffalmacco. The cycle of frescoes continues with the Stories of the Old Testament by Benozzo Gozzoli (15th century) that were situated in the north gallery, while in the south arcade were the Stories of Pisan Saints, by Andrea Bonaiuti, Antonio Veneziano and Spinello Aretino (between 1377 and 1391), and the Stories of Job, by Taddeo Gaddi (end of 14th century). In the same time, in the north gallery were the Stories of the Genesis by Piero di Puccio. On 27 July 1944, a bomb fragment from an Allied raid started a fire. Due to all the water tanks being controlled, the fire could not be put out in time, and it burnt the wooden rafters and melted the lead of the roof. The destruction of the roof severely damaged everything inside the cemetery, destroying most of the sculptures and sarcophagi and compromising all the frescoes. After World War II, restoration work began. The roof was restored as closely as possible to its pre-war appearance and the frescoes were separated from the walls to be restored and displayed elsewhere. Once the frescoes had been removed, the preliminary drawings, called sinopie were also removed. These under-drawings were separated using the same technique used on the frescoes and now they are in the Museum of the Sinopie, on the opposite side of the Square. The restored frescoes that still exist are gradually being transferred to their original locations in the cemetery, inside the cemetery, to restore the Campo Santo's pre-war appearance.

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The Camposanto demolished after an Allied bombing raid in 1944Medieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in PisaMedieval frescoes in the Camposanto in Pisa
On the gallery atop the giant dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, Italy. 
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On the gallery atop the giant dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral in Florence, Italy.

Wikipedia: "[...] The nave was finished by 1380, and by 1418 only the dome remained incomplete. In 1419, the Arte della Lana held a structural design competition for the dome. The two main competitors were Lorenzo Ghiberti (famous for his work on the "Gates of Paradise" doors at the Baptistery) and Filippo Brunelleschi who was supported by Cosimo de Medici, with Brunelleschi winning and receiving the commission. Ghiberti, appointed coadjutator, was drawing a salary equal to Brunelleschi's and would potentially earn equal credit, while spending most of his time on other projects. When Brunelleschi became ill, or feigned illness, the project was briefly in the hands of Ghiberti. But Ghiberti soon had to admit that the whole project was beyond him. In 1423 Brunelleschi was back in charge and took over sole responsibility. Work started on the dome in 1420 and was completed in 1436. The cathedral was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV on March 25, 1436 (the first day of the year according to the Florentine calendar). It was the first 'octagonal' dome in history to be built without a wooden supporting frame (the Roman Pantheon, a circular dome, was built in 117–128 A.D. with support structures). It was one of the most impressive projects of the Renaissance.".
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Florence cathedral seen from the Boboli Gardens: Giotto's Campanile on the left, Brunelleschi's dome on the rightFlorence cathedral dome - view from the belfryFlorence cathedralThe inside of the dome of the cathedral in FlorenceStairs inside the dome of the Florence cathedralView from the Florence cathedral domeFlorence cathedral dome - view from the belfryOn the cathedral dome in FlorenceCathedral dome, FlorenceThis symbol of Florence can be found even on a cup of coffee
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Thursday, Nov 2, 2017: On the walls of Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
Palácio da Pena
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