Cathedral at Orvieto, Italy


The Italian gothic – very different to the kind of churches being built in northern Europe at the time. Aside from being more colourful, one can detect lingering Byzantine influences.

Shifting the Balance

The Duomo at Orvieto is considered one of central Italy’s most beautiful cathedrals.  The construction of the massive structure extended for more than 3 centuries.  The cornerstone of  this magnificent cathedral was laid in 1290 A.D. by Pope Nicolas IV. He wanted a place to house a “miracle”, the Corporal of Bolsena.

It is strikingly beautiful.  Colorful murals and statues cover the exterior of the building are by many of the finest artists of the day, including Lorenzo Maitani.  The interior of the cathedral has frescoes by such artists as Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli.  The cathedral, completed in the early 1600s, is considered to be a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.

The design and intricate detail of the cathedral flow together as the works of art–sculptures, mosaics, frescoes,windows, the carved stone and even the gables–are filled with Biblical scenes.  It is truly a work of art.

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