The square is also know as the Piazza del Duomo and the Field of Miracles.
Baptistery of San Giovanni
Confirmands studying the catechism had to be very careful. The dome roof in the shape of a cupola formed a perfect resonating chamber. It is said that a whisper on one side of the baptistery could be heard on the other side. The sacrament of baptism is administered in the baptistery.
Interestingly, the ground under the baptistery is of the same type as the tower and thus is leaning 0.6 degrees toward the cathedral.
The Campo Santo is also known as the monumental cemetery or old cemetery. "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.
The outer wall is composed of 43 blind arches and has two doorways, one of which is shown above.
Above the doorway is a Gothic tabernacle. It contains the Virgin Mary with Child, surrounded by four saints. Most of the tombs are under the arcades, although a few are on the central lawn.
At first I was a little aggravated with the sun's position but on reflection, it appropriately forms a halo above the church (wish I could say I planned it that way).
Construction of this beautiful structure began in 1064. The cathedral also has tilted as can be seen by my photo angle : ). Seriously, the structure has started to lean but I don't think by the amount of my photo tilt.
Lunette above the middle door of the cathedral, picturing Blessed Mary by Giuseppe Modena da Lucca.
Dulcis in Fundo
(the dessert comes at the end!!)
THE LEANING TOWER OF PISA
At the beginning of the story I mentioned that even I had heard of the leaning tower. What I didn't know was that the tower actually started leaning by the time they had constructed the third story. If you study the tower closely, you can discern that the builders offset each floor with one side longer than the others to see if they could stop the sinking. (Didn't work. Recently there was a huge project to stabilize the structure).
You knew this was coming--
I will bet half the visitors demonstrate holding up the tower.