Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery)

Historic Building in Pisa

Battistero Di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery)

To the west of the cathedral stands the baptistery, a free-standing structure initiated in 1153, almost a century after the cathedral, during Pisa’s prosperous era. The design of the baptistery echoes that of the cathedral, employing the same building material and incorporating blind arcading and dwarf galleries. However, as the construction progressed for over two centuries, it began to exhibit a transition from Romanesque to Gothic styles between its lower and upper levels.

In 1260, the renowned sculptor Nicola Pisano took charge of the project, followed by his son Giovanni from 1285 to 1293. The baptistery features a conical dome upheld by four pillars and eight columns, creating an ambiance of light and solemnity.

Similar to the cathedral, the baptistery’s crowning jewel is the free-standing marble pulpit, a masterpiece from 1260 crafted by Nicola Pisano, and an exceptional example of Romanesque sculpture. Adorned with relief panels, the pulpit exudes great artistic intensity, portraying scenes from the New Testament.

While exploring the baptistery, be sure to admire the font, an exquisite creation by Guido da Como dating back to 1246, as well as the figures of saints crafted by students of Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. Additionally, the baptistery is renowned for its superb acoustics, which guides often demonstrate to visitors.

The Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery) appears in our Complete Guide to Visiting Pisa!

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Visiting Battistero di San Giovanni (Pisa Baptistery)

Address: Battistero di San Giovanni, Piazza del Duomo, Pisa, Province of Pisa, Italy
Duration: 20 minutes
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