The unique and unusual Square of Miracles, located in Pisa, annually attracts a large flow of tourists. One of the main attractions of this square is the famous Baptistery of St. John, made in the Italian Gothic style of the 12th century.
The construction of this grand baptismal began in the distant 1152. The place for the construction was not chosen by chance - it was on this territory that another baptismal room was previously located. The construction of the building lasted for 200 years. Such a protracted construction affected its appearance: when Diotisalvi began work on the project, he saw his creation in the Romanesque style, but subsequent construction managers - Nicollo Pisano and Giovanni Pisano - added elements of the Gothic style to the building. Such a combination did not harm the architecture of the building at all, but only favorably distinguished and made world famous.
The height of the Leaning Baptistery of Pisa, considered the largest in Italy, is about 55 meters and a diameter of 107.24 m.
The building includes three tiers, radically different from each other. The first tier, the lowest, is made in strict accordance with the canons of the Romanesque style: there is nothing superfluous, only symmetrically located arches and narrow oblong windows. The second tier, which occupies the middle part of the structure, is considered the most beautiful and elegant. Numerous small columns, original stone intricacies, in which the faces of saints are made of white marble, all this gives the building sophistication and sophistication. The uppermost tier is a rounded roof with two domes and beautiful triangular arches above the windows.
The interior of the baptistery is made in a strict Byzantine style. On the vast territory there is nothing superfluous, except for a few columns on which the structure rests, and two tiers of images. The lower tier displays significant episodes of the life of John the Baptist, and the upper tier depicts St. John and the Madonna surrounded by angels and evangelists.
The pride of the baptistery is the large octagonal font, in the center of which there is a bronze sculpture of John the Baptist.
Of particular importance is the chair made in the form of a hexagon with high reliefs that reflect the life of Christ. Three columns of this department stand on the lions. This department is widely known among art historians, many of whom believe that it is it that is the first work of Renaissance art.
Scientists, builders, architects for a long time wondered why it was decided to decorate the roof of the building with two domes located on top of each other. Some explained this by the superiority of the Gothic style, others tried to justify it from the point of view of safety of the structure (supposedly the cones support each other). In fact, another moment seems interesting: thanks to two cones of different sizes in the room, excellent acoustics give the atmosphere a special solemnity.
The following fact is also surprising: on June 24, the rays of the sun through a small hole in the wall fall on a bronze statue of St. John, which gives the impression that light comes from the statue. And on this day, Italians celebrate St. Giovanni's Day.
Other interesting facts include the fact that it was in the Leaning Baptistry of Pisa that Galileo Galilei was baptized.
In addition, this amazing and monumental building is included in the overall architectural composition of the Square of Miracles, which is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to get into the baptistery?
The baptismal works year-round. You can admire its external beauty any day and any hour. But you can visit inside only at certain times: in winter - from 9.00 to 16.30 hours, in summer - from 8.00 to 19.00 hours, in spring and autumn - from 9.00 to 17.40 hours. For the whole year, the baptistery does not work for only 2 days - January 1 and December 25th. The cost of visiting the baptistery is 5 euros.
Since the Leaning Baptistery of Pisa is located on the famous Square of Miracles, this fact alone makes one want to be there. In the immediate vicinity of the Baptistery there are no less amazing and unique buildings known throughout the world: the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral of Pisa, the monumental cemetery of Campo Santo, as well as the Monument to the Wolf (which nourished the founders of Rome - Romulus and Remus).