"Duomo" Duomo - Cathedral Tip by leffe3

Duomo - Cathedral, Orvieto: 28 reviews and 68 photos

'Golden Lily of Italian Cathedrals... on the Day of Judgement it will float to Heaven, carried by its own beauty' (Pope Leo XIII). Some accolade!!

And it is rather spectacular, no question. Although strangely, I was surprised that in was begun in 1290 (although it did take more than 300 years to complete and had recently been renovated in the mid-1990s). It has an incredible air of 'freshness' to it, although hardly surprising because some of the facade is as recent as 1965 (central bronze doors)!

Surprisingly, the original architect is unknown, although it may have been Arnolfo di Cambio - the same architect as the Duomo in Florence. But in some ways it hardly matters as in 300 years of construction (I'll exclude the 1965 bronze doors...), more than 30 architects, 130 sculptors, 65 painters and 90 mosaicists worked on the building!

The highlight of the facade is the 14th century sculpture, depicting the stories from the Old & New Testament (see separate tip). The beuatiful mosiacs and their riot of colour are 18th and 19th century copies of originals 'taken' to churches in Rome - only the mosiacs in the corners of the Rose Window are originals (as is the Rose Window itself).

The interior is quite plain but beautiful - the green and white marbled columns running down the nave providing a calming but impressive beauty. There are some world class frescoes by Luca Signorelli - but we didin't get to see them as they were under the restorer's mantle.

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Jun 1, 2007
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