Sunday, February 3, 2013

Pisa, Italy

Although I may have never heard of "Necropolis," I had heard of the Leaning Tower of Pisa and insisted that we take that tour. Glad we did.
The towering walls and immediate buildings channel visitors (tourists) to the Cathedral Square entrance gate.
The Cathedral Square is located within the oldest early medieval city walls. The walls were built in 1155
and are perfectly preserved. The field of green is the perfect backdrop for the white marble buildings that we had come to see. 

Cathedral Square.
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.

Campo Santo
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.
Duomo (Cathedral)
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.
The facade of this impressive cathedral is made of grey marble, white stone, with discs of colored marble.
Backside of the cathedral is also impressive.
Dulcis in Fundo
(the dessert comes at the end!!)
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).
Originally a bell tower, the bells were removed in 1990 to relieve some weight.
You don't need special effects to have a dramatic photo of the tower.
Note the statue between the tower and cathedral.
Romulus and Remus raised by a she-wolf. Their mother, Rhea Silvia conceived the twins by the god Mars after Rhea's father was deposed by his brother and took over the kingdom of Alba Longa. The twins were in danger of being killed so Rhea put them in the Tiber River (Moses style). They were rescued and raised by a she-wolf. Long story short, when the twins learned of their real birth, they killed the evil King and restored Numitor (Rhea's father) to the throne. Neat story but Roman myth.

You knew this was coming--
I will bet half the visitors demonstrate holding up the tower.
While I was saving the tower from falling, Christine was enjoying the plants and flowers. With both of us happy, we were off to the near-by town of Lucca.

1 comment:

  1. You are in favourite place EVER!!!!! I visited this site many years ago, and no one was allowed inside the Tower which was cordoned off from visitors at the time. So much history. Your post is very informative and interesting to read. I sat and ate lunch out side the Domo while my daughter sketched and painted. My husband, son and nephew went inside and did the whole tour. Someone had to chaperone young lady. Great to see you online again! Welcome back.
    Blessings, Rosemary