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The History of Pisa

Pisa Chronology - A Timeline of Events

Field of Miracles - Campo dei Miracoli

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Things to See & Do in Pisa




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Pisa's Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles)

The Campo dei Miracoli or, in English, the Field of Miracles is home to the buildings that have made Pisa famous.  The four most notable Pisan buildings are the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the Cathedral (Duomo) of Pisa, the Baptistery, and the burial grounds of the Campo Santo. The architecture of the all of the buildings on the Campo dei Miracoli are consistent with the arabesque style; they incorporate intricately carved column capitals supporting tall narrow arches.

The Cathedral of Pisa was completed and consecrated by Pope Gelasius II in 1118.  At the time the Camposanto was little more than vacant space. There was no bell tower or baptistery and the museums had not yet been conceived. The cathedral was constructed to service the prosperous mercantile traders of Pisa and its territories.

Despite numerous skirmishes between Pisa and their enemies. The Duomo and the Campo dei Miracoli remained untouched except for one concusion grenade that exploded in the Campo Santo during world war two (WWII). 

Map of points of interest at the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles) in Pisa, Italy

Map of attractions at the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles)

The Pisans had many adversaries including the Saracens (Muslims), their rivals in Florence, Amalfi, and Genoa, the Guelph League and even the Vikings from the distant north.  Even though Pisa was raided and sacked numerous times over the years. The monuments and structures of the Field of Miracles (Campo dei Miracoli) were unscathed.

Image of the Baptistery of the Cathedral of Pisa

The Baptistery of the Cathedral of Pisa

In 1153 work on the Baptistery commenced at the Campo dei Miracoli. The architect sought to design the structure to compliment the existing Duomo. The repetition of the narrow arches supported by intricate capitals atop plain columns emulates the design of the facade of the cathedral.

In 1173, the construction of the Tower of Pisa commenced.  Though well funded by generous donations, the construction of the iconic Tower of Pisa would, ultimately, take nearly 200 years.  Construction was started and stopped several times as the, now famous, tilt was evident even before the construction of the tower was completed.

The tilt of the tower is, after all, what keeps the tourists lining up in droves to visit the Campo dei Miracoli. People dutifully visit the cathedral, view the frescos of the Camposanto, and circle the Baptistery. But, the Main draw of the Field of Miracles is, without a doubt the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa with Statue of the Three angels in the foreground

The Campo dei Miracoli hosts great art against the surreal backdrop of the Leaning Tower of Pisa

Image of the facade of the Cathedral in Pisa at the Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles)

The 12th century facade of the Duomo in Pisa

 << Back - Pisa Chronology - A Timeline of Events             |            Next - The Leaning Tower of Pisa >>  

Credit for information on this tour:

Shrady, N. (2003) Tilt. Simon & Shuster. NY, NY, USA.

Machiavelli, F., Martin, S., Townsend, H., Tyrrell, N (1996). Eyewitness Travel Guides: Italy. DK Publishing. NY, NY, USA.

Sarti, R. (2004). Italy - A Reference Guide from the Renaissance to the Present. Facts on File Inc.. NY, NY, USA.

 
 

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