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Built in its present form in Gothic style in the first half of the XIV c. on the site of the old “Paleochristian” and Baptismal church of Santa Maria and San Giovanni. The name “in corte” certifies the presence of a Curtis domini regis, the headquarters of the “gestaldo” in the Lombard period. During the building, which lasted from 1338 to 1360, the grave of Bishop Atto, who died in 1153, was found (he introduced the “Jacobean” cult in Pistoia). Even though Vasari claimed that Andrea Pisano had designed the baptistery there’s no sure proof about that. It is sure, however, that Cellino di Nese managed the operation: he’s responsible for the outside marble facing. The white marbles originate from Siena and Carrara; the green ones from Prato. The octagonal shaped building presents a pyramidal roofing completed by an elegant lantern. The cupola is covered with sheets of lead surrounded by an open gallery with marble balustrade enriched with spires and statuettes. In the lunette of the main door we can notice the sculptures of Madonna with Child between St. John the Baptist and St. Peter that are traditionally attributed to Nino and Tommaso, sons of Andrea Pisano. The architrave is divided in four bas-reliefs depicting stories of St. John’s life. The door-knockers of the central portal are a masterpiece of wood-cutting and are the work of Pier Francesco Ventura (1523). Inside, the baptismal font can be seen, carved by Lanfranco da Como in 1226. During the Baroque period, this was included in a structure surmounted by the marble statue of St. John the Baptist, a work by Andrea Vacca, now on view in the Baptistery.
  • Excellent35%
  • Very good47%
  • Average16%
  • Poor1%
  • Terrible1%
Travellers talk about
“audio guide” (2 reviews)
“worth a visit” (2 reviews)
“marble” (9 reviews)
LOCATION
Piazza del Duomo, Pistoia, Italy
Write a ReviewReviews (205)
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"audio guide"
in 2 reviews
"worth a visit"
in 2 reviews
"marble"
in 9 reviews
"euro"
in 3 reviews
"exterior"
in 3 reviews
"style"
in 3 reviews
"masterpiece"
in 3 reviews
"cathedral"
in 3 reviews
"architecture"
in 2 reviews
"florence"
in 2 reviews
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1 - 10 of 18 reviews

Reviewed 1 week ago

If you have your scheduled duomo tour ticket, you have a ticket into the Baptistery. I don't recommend trying to do them both the same day. Why wait in a long line? Plan to get up the following morning and be at the head of...More

Thank Denise W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

We were lucky enough to stop by to see this stunning Romanesque style building. The exterior is cladded with white Carara marble and green Prato marble decorated with geometric panels and arches. The interior dome ceiling decorated in gold mosaic was my favourite. The large...More

Thank Bezawit A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2017

This site viewed on its own is impressive, but it takes only a few minutes to see the whole thing. However, when viewed as part of a fifteen euro 'access all parts of the Cathedral ticket' it provides just the start of an amazing day...More

Thank frankjordan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 25 May 2017

The exterior is magnificent, made of green and white marble built in the 14th century. The symmetry and design of the architecture is amazing! The interior is more plain but the full height of the baptistery impresses you. There is an info sheet inside by...More

Thank fjane84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 December 2016

Absolutely beautiful wedding cake of a baptistery, beautifully restored. Not as much a masterpiece as Florence's is, but it is a superb example of the style...

Thank CapnPeBo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 October 2016

From the outside it is very nice and interesting, especially the balcony on the right side of the main door. However inside it is quite bare except for the marble baptism tank. So if you find it closed, do not worry, you will be missing...More

Thank Pierre B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2016

Worth visiting to see how many bricks were used to build it! Very similar in style to the Baptistery which we visited about ten years ago.

Thank crossstitchgill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2015

A part of the religious trio of Duomo, Campanile and Baptisry, the building is another architectural treasure in the layered alternating color marble style with sculptural masterpieces by Pisano adorning it. Interior is that of the typical bare wall's style. ...

Thank David B L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 September 2015 via mobile

It's a speedy visit, but you can miss the interior of this wonderful building. It's as simple and dark inaide as bright and coloured outside.

Thank Marco D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 September 2015

The Baptistirion is in the Duomo sqare, for babies to be baptized, an octagonal beautiful building covered with white and green marble

Thank niki r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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