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Siena Cathedral is a medieval Catholic cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary (Santa Maria Assunta). The temple is located on Cathedral Square in the central part of Siena.
The construction of the temple began in 1179 on the site where the church dedicated to Minerva was previously located, and later a Roman fortress with towers, one of which in 1313 it was converted into a Romanesque bell tower.
The building was built in the form of a Latin cross with a protruding transept. The dome of the cathedral was erected in the years 1259-1264. In 1317, a number of works were carried out to expand the cathedral, led by Camaino di Crescentino. And in 1339, work began on the creation of the `` New Duomo '', where the existing building was supposed to become only a transept.
In 1357, due to the difficult economic situation, work on the construction of a new building was stopped. Nowadays, traces of this failed grandiose idea can be observed on the Jacopa della Quercia square.
Several years later, the authorities decided to complete the decoration of the old church. In 1376, the upper part of the building was decorated by Giovanni di Cecco. In 1382, the vaults of the central nave were raised.
Columns supporting the dome are placed on the octagonal foundation. The nave is separated from the aisles by semicircular arches. The facade and interior of the church is made of white and black-green marble. White and black are the symbolic colors of the city, etiologically related to the black and white horses of the founders of Siena – Ascius and Senius.
The main altar of the cathedral was made by Baldassare Petruzzi in 1532. This marble altar was crowned with a bronze tabernacle, created in the years 1467-1472 by the master Vecchietta.
The left nave of the temple houses the Piccolomini library, built by Francesco Piccolomini Toreschi in 1492 to store the collection of books collected Pope Pius II. After the death of Pius the Third, the library was painted with frescoes with episodes from the life of Pius the Second.
Also in the cathedral is the pulpit created by Giovanni and Nicolo Pisano in 1266-1268. The lectern was adorned with exquisite reliefs and sculptures.
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Topic: Cathedral in Italy, Siena resort.