The beautiful 11th century Romanesque church of Santa Maria Assunta is the cathedral of Pisa.
In 1063, after a victory of the Pisan fleet at Palermo, Buschetto di Giovanni Giudice was given the task of constructing the cathedral. Pope Gelasius II (r. 1118-19) was present at its consecration on September 26th, 1118. Its façade was completed a century later by one Rainaldo, a native of Pisa, who left an inscription, Rainaldus prudens operator, above the central door.
Dedicated to the Virgin Mary of the Assumption (Santa Maria Assunta), Pisa's cathedral is one of the most celebrated examples of what is known as the Pisan-Romanesque style.
In 1595 the cathedral was seriously damaged by fire and, between 1602 and 1616, much of the interior was rebuilt.
Thankfully, the fire didn't destroy the medieval bronze doors of the Porta di San Ranieri, or the famous Islamic griffin, both of which have been now been replaced by copies. The doors are located in the south transept, while the griffin stands atop the east end of the cathedral. The originals are on display in the Museo dell' Opera del Duomo.
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