It was traditional for churches of this era to have a baptistry separate from the church. Reinforcing the idea that baptism had to be received before you entered the doors of the church and participated in the Eucharist. Centuries later the baptismal font or baptismal chapel was placed near the main doors of the church. St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney is like that. Many Australian churches built after World War II have the baptismal font to one side of the main sanctuary.
This cathedral goes by many names, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, Church of the Assumption, Cathedral of St Mary of the Assumption. The façade took a very long time to build, starting in 1284 and finishing between 1370 and 1380.
Looking down the Cathedral Nave
The interior is spectacular, expressing the deep reverence of the Sienese people towards God, and their love for Mary, mother of Jesus. In this cathedral is the icon of ‘Madonna del Voto’. It is considered to be miraculous because when the icon was processed around the city in 1630, the plague stopped in Siena.
Cathedral cupola and mosaic floor
In this photo you can see the interior of the dome’s cupola, as well as the intricate mosaic floor surrounded by guard-rails to preserve it. But it also gives you glimpses of the paintings, sculptures and side chapels throughout the cathedral.
Cathedral Piccolomini Library
Piccolomini was the surname of Pope Pius II, who grew up in this city. His nephew, who became Pope Pius III, commissioned this library to house his uncle’s collection of books and hand-illustrated manuscripts. Around the walls of the library are these stunning frescoes depicting the life of Pope Pius II.
Vincent Cavanagh #bbwyd
26 Jul 2023, 10.58pm Italy | 27 Jul 2023, 6.58am Sydney
News and Other Stuff
About recent artwork, inspirations and other things I find interesting.