Siena Cathedral

Piazza del Duomo, 53100 Siena SI, Italy


Cathedral, Piccolomini Library, Museum, Panorama and “Duomo Nuovo”, Crypt, Baptistry, Beneath the Cathedral, Gate of Heaven

1 March – 31 October: 10:30 am – 7:00 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Eve of public holidays: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

1 November – 28 February (but not 26 December – 8 January): 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

26 December – 6 January: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Sundays, public holidays: 1:30 pm – 5:30 pm

Uncovering Floor Period Cathedral:
Sundays, public holidays: 9:30 am – 6 pm

Porta del Cielo:
Open from 1 March to 7 January.
The schedules follow those of the Cathedral.

Siena Cathedral, the Duomo di Santa Maria Assunta (Cathedral of Our Lady’s Assumption) is one of Italy’s most impressive and important Romano-Gothic churches. It was consecrated in 1179 by the Sienese Pope Alexander II and building continued for nearly two centuries: the bell-tower was completed in 1313 and extensions began in 1317.

Siena was at the height of its power and therefore needed a larger Cathedral, but the plague of 1348 interrupted work on this ambitious project. Today you can see traces of the columns and the great Front, testimony to the unfinished work. The imposing façade, in white marble with decorations in red Siena stone and black serpentinite from Prato, is divided into two. The lower half, in Romano-Gothic style, was created by Giovanni Pisano, with a beautiful rose window surrounded by gothic niches and statues of the Prophets and Apostles paying homage to the Madonna and Child.

The whole interior is dominated by black and white, a reference to the colours of the city’s coat of arms. It houses masterpieces of untold value, a real treasure trove of artworks, beginning with the pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1265-68). On the Piccolomini altar you can admire four sculptures by Michelangelo: Saint Augustine, Saint Peter, Saint Pius and Saint Paul. The Libreria Piccolomini (Piccolomini Library), immediately beyond the altar, was built in 1492 and houses a very rich heritage of literary works collected by Pope Pius II. The walls and ceiling were frescoed by Pinturicchio, while in the left-hand chapel you can see Donatello’s famous St John the Baptist (1455). Eight bronze statues by Domenico Beccafumi decorate the pilasters of the choir, above which is a copy of the famous stained glass window by Duccio di Buoninsegna, created in 1288. Finally, probably the most extraordinary work inside the Cathedral is the marble mosaic floor, a work unique in its inventiveness, richness, vastness and the importance of those who worked on it.

The floor is divided into 56 panels showing the Revelation of St John through themed designs. The oldest panels date from the second half of the fourteenth century while the later ones are nineteenth century. Among those who worked on them are Pinturicchio, Francesco di Giorgio, Domenico Beccafumi, Sassetta, Antonio Federighi, Urbano da Cortona and Neroccio di Bartolomeo de’ Landi.


I Comuni di Terre di Siena