Posts tagged ‘Religious Architecture’

Piazza dei Miracoli: The Baptistry

Following on from my previous post which introduced the Piazza dei Miracoli in Pisa, below are a couple of shots of the Baptistry. Construction of this part Romanesque and part Gothic building began in 1152, but it wasn’t finally completed till the 14th century after various additions and remodelling. I don’t know about you but it reminds me of a Papal Tiara to look at:  

The Baptistry, Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

The Baptistry, Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Piazza dei Miracoli

Although Pisa (apologies if you’re still “guessing” the location from my last post but one…;0)…) is most famous for its “Leaning Tower”, that somewhat ignores the other, and arguably more impressive, medieval monuments that clamour for attention in the Piazza dei Miracoli where the tower stands. Also known as the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) or Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) this gigantic open space in the northwest of Pisa is home to four quite magnificent architectural treasures in the Romanesque style. 

The shot below just about shows all four monuments in question – most prominent is the Baptistry, behind that is the Duomo (Cathedral) and behind that the Campanile (or leaning bell tower) itself. The short section of wall that you can just see in the lower left corner (and runs behind the Baptistry and Duomo) is the Camposanto (or Holy Field): a monumental walled cemetery where many prominent Pisans have been laid to rest.

A fact I didn’t appreciate until I visited, is that the Campanile is not the only monument in Pisa that leans, because apparently both the Baptistry and the Duomo do as well. I hope that partly explains the slightly exaggerated distorted angle of the Baptistry in the shot below, although I suspect that some of that is due to the wide-angle lens I was using as well:

Piazza dei Miracoli, Pisa, Tuscany, Italy

© Mark Simms Photography (2015)

Winter Church

There is something about churches and graveyards in the snow that I find particularly fascinating. I think it has something to do with those stereotypical Christmas card images that show churches nestled, all warm and cosy, in some idyllic English countryside landscape. Not that the three shots below would be suitable for a Christmas card – well perhaps the first one would – I think they are all too wintry and sombre for that.

Winter Church 1 Winter Church 2 Winter Church 3

Apparently there has been a church on this site since the 12th Century, and there is some evidence that there could have been one even earlier. The current church, St Bartholomew’s, was consecrated in 1886 by the Bishop of Chester (within whose Diocese it resides) and is a fine example of Victorian gothic-revival architecture. The church is built entirely of local sandstone.

Copyright: © The Photography of Mark Simms (2013). All rights reserved.

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