The Baptistery, Pisa

88 Reviews

Piazza Duomo
  • The Baptistery
    by machomikemd
  • The Pisa Baptistery and the Duomo.
    The Pisa Baptistery and the Duomo.
    by Jerelis
  • Close up of the main entrance of the Baptistery.
    Close up of the main entrance of the...
    by Jerelis

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  • machomikemd's Profile Photo

    Pisa Baptistery of St. John

    by machomikemd Updated Jul 6, 2016

    The famous Pisa Baptistery of St. John is the first of the trifecta of attractions in the Piazza Dei Duomo Area of Pisa, which is a Unesco World Heritage Site. The Baptistery is located along the western part of the Piazza. The Baptistry was made in 1152 but was finished in 1363 and was made by Nicola and Giovanni Pisano into a hybrid Romanesque and Gothic Style and is the tallest Baptistery in Italy. The baptistery is about 54.86 meters tall and 104 meter in circumference and is made from white marble. the baptistery has a square main portal with several bas reliefs.
    you must buy a ticket to be able to entrer the baptistry (and also the cathedral and the leaning tower itself) and the ticket counter to buy the tickets is located in the Museo Dei Sinopie on the south side or along the Opera della Primaziale Pisana Building, facing the Cathedral.

    opens:

    January, February, November, December: 9:00-16:30
    March, October: 9:00-17:30
    April, May, June, July, August, September: 8:00-19:30
    Closed on January 1th and on Christmas Day

    tel: +39 050 835011
    tickets: 5 euros per person and 8 euros for entrance to the Sinopie Museum, the Baptisty and Camposanto.

    Directions: Piazza del Duomo , 56126 Pisa PI, Italy

    Website: http://www.opapisa.it

    Tip Tip Tip Tip Tip

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  • Jerelis's Profile Photo

    Pisa Baptistery – Walking around it.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 6, 2015

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    The Pisa Baptistery is an amazing place with a beautiful garden around it. One can sit and enjoy this marvel. For sure this Baptistry is an amazing work of architecture, and definitely lights up the piazza. Definitely a bice location and a must see! Just walking around the Pisa Baptistery is definitely worthwhile. Of course the first thing to notice is the square main portal, that bears an interesting reliefs by an unknown artist of the 13th century. The other portal is also nicely decorated, including an architrave depicting the Annunciation and Saints.

    Walking around the Pisa Baptistery makes it hard to believe this area once was a port and built essentially out of marble on silt, hence the lean on the tower. The Baptistery was the second building built, and it took over two hundred years to complete. So finally we can state that the Baptistery is a super building and form one of the three highlights of the visit to Pisa.

    Address: Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa.

    Directions: Right at the western part of the central square, can’t miss it!

    Phone: +39050-385011

    Website: http://www.opapisa.it/it/la-piazza-dei-miracoli/battistero/ledificio.html

    Close up of the main entrance of the Baptistery. The main entrance of the Pisa Baptistery.
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    Pisa Baptistery – Slight leaning as well.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 6, 2015

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    Like we said before, the Pisa Baptistery is the largest baptistery of Italy and is also slightly taller than the famous Leaning Tower across the square. As it shares the same unstable ground as the tower, the baptistery also has a slight lean towards the cathedral. Still it is not very famous for it.

    We did not enter the Pisa Baptistery. The most important reason was that we did not have enough time to do so. Besides that we were with five people at the Piazza dei Miracoli and getting tickets for all five of us for all buildings would be a kind of a huge amount to pay. Besides entering the Pisa Baptistery we walked around it and had a good look at its impressive façade.

    Address: Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa.

    Directions: Right at the western part of the central square, can’t miss it!

    Phone: +39050-385011

    Website: http://www.opapisa.it/it/la-piazza-dei-miracoli/battistero/ledificio.html

    The Baptistery at the Square of Miracles. Main facade of the Pisa Baptistery.
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    Pisa Baptistery – Largest of Italy.

    by Jerelis Written Nov 6, 2015

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    In general you can say that no trip to Tuscany would be complete without a visit to Pisa. Kind of a bucket list thing. Once we arrived in Pisa we started our hiking tour, which begun with a walk along the medieval walls of the city. After that we ended up at the old entrance gate, Porta Santa Maria. Here, the extraordinary view took our breath away as we approached the impressive marble architecture of Piazza dei Miracoli.

    Of course the famous leaning tower of Pisa is where everybody is going for, but we were also amazed by the beautiful Baptistery (Battistero di San Giovanni) which kind of stands alone on the square. Begun in 1153 in a Romanesque style and completed in the 1300s in the Gothic style, the Baptistery in Pisa is the largest in Italy. It contains some important furnishings, including a font and Pisano pulpit. Of course the children wanted to look at the leaning tower, but our next stop at the square was the Pisa Baptistery.

    Address: Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa.

    Directions: at the western part of the central square, can’t miss it!

    Phone: +39050-385011

    Website: http://www.opapisa.it/it/la-piazza-dei-miracoli/battistero/ledificio.html

    The Pisa Baptistery. The Pisa Baptistery and the Duomo.
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  • shavy's Profile Photo

    The Baptistery

    by shavy Written Oct 24, 2013

    The largest baptistery in the world , is located on the Campo dei Miracoli . Its construction started in 1152 , almost a century after it was the construction of the Duomo began
    The huge building has a circumference of 107 meters , a height of 55 meters , and is lined with Carrara marble, in the lower part return again the blind arches back , known from the Duomo and Campanile

    The above style has two parts, one in which the life of John the Baptist is depicted , one with Jesus between Mary and John the Baptist, the octagonal font is found in the middle of the chapel back
    Behind the baptismal font is a 12th century marble altar , decorated with rosettes and inlays . The centerpiece of the chapel is the pulpit by Nicola Pisano in 1260
    Pisano was the most important Italian Renaissance sculptor , and make the scenes on this pulpit undoubtedly clear

    Pretty round in shape
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    The Famous Pulpit of Nicola Pisano

    by hquittner Written Jul 1, 2013

    The hexagonal pulpit is set just inside the northwest columns and pillar of the circular Baptistry. Five of the upper outer surface are rectangular marble bas reliefs, while the sixth is the entry. The five subjects are: the birth of Jesus, the Three Magi, the Circumcision, the Crucifixion and
    Judgement Day. On the next level below at the lateral edge of each side are carved the Disciples and the Evangelists on the corners .The central areas are delicate arcades. Below this extend 6 round columns, three ending on the backs of lions. There is also a central round co;umn at the base of which are animal and human figures.

    The Pulpit Nativity Gifts of the Magi Crucifixion Judgement
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    Inside the Baptistry

    by hquittner Written Jun 29, 2013

    The interior of the Baptistry is spacious but was only detailed in 1248 when the font and altar were created. In 1528 a statue of John the Baptist was placed on a column at the center of the pool. Both the font and the altar have surfaces covered by inlaid marbles. The central area is surrounded by four pairs of round columns separated by four pillars. Above this circle of verticals is a second level gallery that provides a fine view of the lower floor.

    Statue at Center of Font Details of Marble Inlay of Font or Altar Altar Next to Font Primitive Fighting on Capital Carolyn Looking Down  in Baptistry
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    The Outer Aspects of the Baptistry

    by hquittner Updated Jun 27, 2013

    The Baptistry was started in 1153 to the west of the Duomo and 20 years before the Campanile. It is a circular building that is 155 ft in diameter and is 180 ft high (1 ft less than the Campanile). The lowest level of the building was created by Diotosalvi in Romanesque style with tall blind arcading like the west facade of the Duomo. Building was restarted in1260 under Nicola Pisano. He created the next two levels in Gothic form with gables, pinnacles, statuettes and busts. The third level featured 20 windows and small rose windows.This was topped by a domel was created and finally the top was enclosed in1394.
    On each side of the door are a fine cut-work column and a pilaster with bas reliefs of Disciples and works of the month, etc. At the bases of the columns are groups of carved frogs. We have seen similar ones at the column bases in the cloister at Monreale and they are of the same late 12C.

    View Down Into the Baptistry Nearest to Us Is the Baptistry East Entrance to Baptistry Early Carving on Pilaster Frogs on Column Base
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    Baptistry of St. John

    by Kuznetsov_Sergey Written Jun 10, 2012

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    The Baptistry of St. John is a religious building in the Square of Miracles. It started construction in 1152, in replacement of an older baptistry, and completed in 1363. It is the second building, in the chronological order, in the Piazza dei Miracoli, near the Cathedral and the famous Leaning Tower.
    The architect was Diotisalvi, whose signature can be read on two pillars inside the building, with the date 1153.
    The structure is 54.86 m high, with a circumference of 107.24 m, and is the largest baptistry in Italy. The Baptistry has an example of the transition from the Romanesque style to the Gothic style: the lower registers are in the Romanesque style, with rounded arches, while the upper registers are in the Gothic style, with pointed arches. The Baptistry is constructed of marble, plentiful and often used in Italian architecture.

    Open: April to September - 08:00 to 19:40, March and October - 09:00 to 17:40, November to February - 09:00 to 16:40
    Admission: charge
    Tel: +39 (0)50 560 547

    Baptistry of St. John Baptistry of St. John Baptistry of St. John Baptistry of St. John Baptistry of St. John
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    Battistero di San Giovanni

    by Jefie Updated Jul 7, 2010

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    The Cathedral of Pisa's baptistery is the largest baptistery in all of Italy. Built between 1152 and 1363, it's the second oldest structure on the Piazza dei Miracoli after the duomo. The baptistery is 55 m high, with a circumference of over 100 m. Like the cathedral it's made almost entirely of marble, and its exterior combines two architectural styles, Romanesque and Gothic, into a surprisingly homogeneous design. There isn't that much to see inside the baptistery - the font designed by Guido Bigarelli isn't especially remarkable, but the pulpit carved by Nicola Pisaro (the father of Giovanni Pisaro who carved the cathedral's pulpit) is very nice - so much so that many art historians date the beginning of the Italian Renaissance back to 1260, the year Pisaro completed the pulpit. Another really interesting feature of the baptistery is its accoustics. Every 30 minutes, one of the staff members gives a quick demonstration of how one single note can last for several seconds as it travels through the dome, allowing a person to sing a chord all by herself. The effect is kind of eerie and it's truly worth sticking around to hear it.

    Directions: Piazza dei Miracoli

    Phone: 39 050 83 50 11/12

    Website: http://www.opapisa.it/en/home.html

    The baptistery on Piazza dei Miracoli
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    il Battistero di San Giovanni - Interior

    by MM212 Updated May 13, 2010

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    Inspired by the architecture of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the interior of the Baptistery (il Battistero di San Giovanni) consists of a circular double arcade surrounding the central baptismal area. Black marble is used to add stripes to the white marble of the interior, while eight Corinthian columns alternate with four pillars to support the upper gallery which was reserved for women. The inside dome retains the original design by Diotisalvi in the shape of a polygonal pyramid and provides the space with exceptional acoustics. Although still quite impressive, the interior of the Baptistry may disappoint the visitor by the lack of ornamentation that other baptistries in Italy tend to have (e.g., Florence or Ravenna); only the baptismal font and the pulpit are richly decorated. The baptismal font in the centre was the work of Guido da Como in 1246, while the carved pulpit was sculpted by Nicola Pisano in 1260. The latter contains a naked Herculean sculpture, the first recorded use of a nude figure in Christian art and is considered a precursor to Renaissance art which synthesised Christian and Classical imagery.

    Address: Piazza del Duomo

    il Battistero di San Giovanni - May 09 The interior dome - May 09 Nicola Pisano's pulpit Guido da Como's baptismal font - May 09
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    il Battistero di San Giovanni

    by MM212 Updated May 11, 2010

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    Dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, il Battistero di San Giovanni is the largest baptistry in Italy. Its construction began in 1152 AD by the architect known as Diotisalvi, who planned a Romanesque round structure, with eastern influences, topped by a pyramidal dome. The exterior architecture is said to have been inspired by the Church of the Holy Sepulchre while the interior by the Dome of the Rock, both in Jerusalem, at a time when Pisa had participated in the Crusades. Diotisalvi died before the work was completed, so it was taken over first by Nicola Pisani and then by his son, Giovanni Pisani. The latter two shifted the design from Romanesque to Gothic and built a round exterior dome which gave the baptistry this curious bulbous shape and its mix of styles. To a much lesser extent than the tower, the Baptistry is slightly leaning.

    Address: Piazza del Duomo

    il Battistero di San Giovanni - May 09 The Baptistry - May 09 Baptistry in the background Exterior sculptures Exterior architecture
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    Baptistry

    by Tom_Fields Written Jan 6, 2010

    Diotisalvi began work in the Baptistry in 1153, but it was interrupted numerous times. Later, Nicola and Giovanni Pisano worked on the upper parts, including busts of the prophets and saints. The evolution of architectural styles during this period explains why the lower parts are mainly Romanesque, while the upper ones are more Gothic.

    Website: http://www.pisa-tourism.com/web/en/pisa/da_non_perdere.html

    The Baptistry
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    Completing the picture

    by toonsarah Written Sep 16, 2009

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    The Baptistery completes the trio of buildings that make up the cathedral complex. It is situated immediately opposite the west facade of the cathedral and although not as spectacular as the latter repays closer examination. Il Battistero di San Giovanni or Baptistery of Saint John, to give it its full name, was founded in 1152 to be a worthy addition to the cathedral and a further sign of the city’s wealth and magnificence. Its construction was partly funded by the citizens themselves; in 1163 it was ordered that on the first day of the month every family of Pisa should pay one denaro to continue the building of the monument.

    At 107.24 metres in circumference, and slightly taller than the Leaning Tower, it is the largest Baptistery in Italy, so in scale it certainly delivers on the city’s ambitions. It is built of the same white marble as the cathedral, edged with grey, and with it creates a harmonious scene. The lower part is 12th century Romanesque (with round arches) and the upper parts are predominantly 13th century Gothic (with pointed arches – photo 2). Its dome is covered in red tiles on the west side and in lead slabs on the east side (see photo 3).

    Inside it is rather sombre and plain, but there is some attractive stained glass and a magnificent pulpit carved in 1255-60 by Nicola Pisano, father of the Giovanni who was to carve the one in the cathedral. Its high reliefs (photo 4), which depict scenes from the life of Christ, are strongly influenced by Roman art such as the sarcophagi which can be seen today in the Camposanto.

    The baptistery is renowned for its perfect acoustics. You can whisper on one side of the corridor, and a person on the opposite side can hear you perfectly. This is apparently demonstrated every 30 minutes by the staff on duty, but unfortunately we hadn’t realised this until after our return from Pisa and so missed hearing this phenomenon.

    According to a legend told amongst the city’s students, the Baptistery is a place to be feared. If as an undergraduate you walk around the Baptistery, you will never get your degree. I also read of a similar legend relating to ascending the tower; clearly the students here are a superstitious lot.

    See my Campo dei Miracoli tip for some information about tickets

    Directions: In the Campo dei Miracoli in the northwest corner of the old town – follow Via Santa Maria to its end

    Website: http://www.opapisa.it/en/miracles-square/baptistery/the-building.html

    Pisa Baptistery Pisa Baptistery - detail Pisa Baptistery - the roof Pisa Baptistery - pulpit Pisa Baptistery - interior
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    History of Pisan architecture in bricks and mortar

    by Tijavi Updated Aug 11, 2009

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    One of the biggest baptistries in Italy, Pisa's Baptistry offers tourists a more tangible (read: in the form of bricks and mortar) lessons in Pisan architecture. Began in 1152, it was first planned along the lines of Romanesque but scarcity of funds prolonged its construction for 100 years, which by that time Gothic was more in vogue. It's interesting to see the largely and more ornate gothic Baptistry juxtaposed with the more streamlined romanesque Duomo.

    In addition to the crash architectural lesson, visitors would marvel at the size of the baptistry (say, vs. that in Florence) and the acoustics. At certain times of the day, a lady sings a few tunes to deomonstrate the special acoustic qualities of this medieval wonder. On a much smaller scale, the centerpiece is clearly the ornate marble pulpit by Nicola Pisano, father of Giovanni, the man behind the magnificent pulpit at the adjacent Duomo. Another BIG feature is the octagonla marble baptismal font by Guido da Como - big in the sense that it could qualify as a decent size swimming pool - and that is because baptism here was by immersion.

    The Baptistry is a crash course in architecture The upper portion is gothic It's arguably one of the biggest baptistries Reliefs adorn the main entrance The marble font dominates the core
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