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Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery: In Pictures, The North West Tuscan Way, Tour 27

Curvilinear Marble Sculpture

p r e s e n t s


North West Tuscany for the Independent Tourist

IN PICTURES

Tour 27: Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery

as twilight descends upon the Place of Miracles 

Pisa’s spectacular Piazza dei Miracoli, with its extraordinary thousand year-old Cathedral,   its incomparable Baptistery,   stunning Camposanto and iconic Leaning Tower,   has surely prompted enough to be written on the matter that nothing I’m likely to contribute will likely add much weight to the volumes readily available elsewhere on the internet.   There is however a time and place for everything and right now we are poised to dabble in a bit of time travel adventure of such rare splendor and magnificence that our very own vivid imaginations will more than suffice as a backdrop to what you are about to see.   I suppose I could inform as to just what is and what isn’t “original” (Spoiler alert.  The pulpit: reproduction. Yep, it’s true!   The original wasn’t even located in the same spot, with the same gorgeous view of the ascending Madonna).   But what does it matter?   Should you discover an urge to look up one or two salient points about this or that,  then I suppose I will have done my job.   For I feel a great bond with these fascinating old relics of the past, and I firmly believe they need all the friends they can muster.    How this cluster of magnificent buildings has remained so intact to this very day – is well, truly miraculous in of itself, so grave are the consequence of buildings having the misfortune to end up in the wrong place, at the wrong time.  Demolition, in one form or another, is a fear common to preservationists the world around, and unfortunately it is seldom a ghastly new monstrosity that falls victim,  but some lovely old building that most people never quite appreciated, or missed, until one fine morning they noticed it was gone,   the way of the rest.     I think you either get modern architecture, or you don’t.   “Ah HA!” you say, “the man’s a mason, masquerading as an artist… he would say that! ”   But in my defense the truth is that I have spent my entire life,  architecturally speaking,  in helpless observation; watching on hopelessly as the powers that be undertook the  wholesale wanton destruction of much that I loved and held dear:  beautiful old Victorian follies, inconvenient medieval manors,   crumbling stately homes,  splendid hotels,  gloriously Gothic civic buildings,  even lovely old churches (but never… as I recall… a cathedral) simply vanished practically overnight, with the rest of the morning’s  rubbish.  Stunning examples of long gone cultures and civilizations have been, and are still today (in the name of progress)  bulldozed aside and replaced with… fill in the blank.    Years ago, well before I knew one end of a chisel from the other,  I thankfully and willingly fell under the beguiling spell of Winchester Cathedral’s Norman grandeur.  At the time,  I think I was 8 or so,  I assumed this must to be the most stunning building in the world – it certainly caught my attention.  From that dazzling moment on I have held a growing fascination for all things castle and cathedral that still captivates me to this day.  For when all is said:  what a total emergence awaits upon entry to one of these impossibly ancient buildings.  Many experts on these matters consider Pisa Cathedral a prime candidate for the most beautiful in the world, and the Baptistery, with its famous ghostly acoustics, to be perhaps the world’s most perfect building.    So now it’s just about time to set off on your tour… as the sun sets to your back, and you cross the threshold…. Behold: your very own portal in time… to a place of art, architecture, miracles, memories, inspiration, rejuvenation et al.

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All great journeys demand a fitting finale, and in the tranquil, timeless beauty of Pisa’s Place of Miracles we sadly must draw our North West Tuscan Way to a close – full circle, where the grand tour began.  For just as we arrived via the famous Leaning Tower, next time around, so shall we leave… climbing our way up the well worn stairs and back to our daily day-to-day lives.   So.   One more episode, and that’s it.  But what a tour I have in store for you today!  Mama mia, this one is good.   I know because it’s taken me an age and a half to put together.   Simply put:  places like this,  and days like these,  are why I feel the periodic urge to travel, so as to immerse myself in a world utterly out of reach to me here in Woody Creek, USA.    Well.   What can I say?   Pisa,   I love you.  Big kiss… I miss you – mwaaaa! mwaaaa mwaaaa !!!

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and now

the slideshow

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Pisa Cathedral and Baptistery

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next

The North West Tuscan Way: In Pictures

Tour 28: The Leaning Tower of Pisa

…and the conclusion of our North West Tuscan Way

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thanks for visiting martincooney.com

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⌈⌈⌉ªℜ†ïℵ

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