June 15, 2014
0590, 1101 ITALY (Tuscany) - Piazza del Duomo, Pisa (UNESCO WHS)
Posted on 08.04.2013, and 15.06.2014
Located on Tuscany, at the junction of the rivers Arno and Serchio, which form a laguna at the Tyrrhenian Sea, Pisa has an ancient history, even if the origin of its founders is uncertain. As the only port along the coast from Genoa to Ostia, it have a prominent maritime role during the Romans time, which grew up in the early Middle Ages, together with its military involvement in the peninsula. Its power as a mighty maritime nation reached its apex in the 11th century, when it became one of the four main Maritime Republics of Italy (Repubbliche Marinare). After Sardinia, Carthage (in North Africa) and Corsica, Pisa conquered Palermo, and the golden treasure taken from the Saracens allowed the Pisans to start the building of the monuments in Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square), which had a great influence on monumental art in Italy from the 11th to the 14th century. Known also as Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles), it is a walled area to the north of central Pisa, partly paved and partly grassed, dominated by four great religious edifices: the Duomo, the Campanile, the Battistero and the Camposanto.
• Duomo (the Cathedral) - located in the heart of the square, is dedicated to St. Mary of the Assumption. Its construction began in 1063, and set the model for the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style, with strong Byzantine influences, mainly in interior.
• Battistero (the Baptistry) - stands opposite the west end of the cathedral and is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The round Romanesque building was begun in the mid 17th century, and is the largest baptistery in Italy. The portal, facing the façade of the cathedral, is flanked by two classical columns, while the inner jambs are executed in Byzantine style.
• Campanile (the Bell Tower) - located behind the cathedral, was erected between 1691 and 1889, when was added bell-chamber, built to accommodate seven main bells. Five years after construction began, when the building had reached the third floor level, the weak subsoil and poor foundation led to its sinking. It was left for a century, and in 1825, when construction resumed, the upper floors were built with one side taller than the other. By the time the building was completed, the lean was approximately 1 degree, and reached 5.5 degrees, its maximum value, prior to 1990. As of 2010, has been reduced to approximately 4 degrees.
• Camposanto Monumentale (the Monumental Cemetery) - located at the northern edge of the square, is considered by many the most beautiful cemetery in the world. The building itself, Gothic as style, began in 1278 and was completed in 1464. The outer wall is composed of 43 blind arches, and most of the tombs are under the arcades. It contained a huge collection of Roman sculptures and sarcophagi, but now there are only 84 left. The walls were covered in frescoes, destroyed in WWII but subsequently restored.
In addition, in the second postcard are also:
• Santa Maria della Spina (Saint Mary of Thorn) - one of the most outstanding Gothic edifices of Europe, erected in 1230. In 1871 the church was dismantled and rebuilt on a higher level due to dangerous infiltration of water from the Arno river.
• Palazzo dell'Orologio (Clock Tower) - composed of two main structures. On the left was the Palazzotto della Giustizia, seat of the magistrates of Pisa, and on the right a tower, Torre dei Gualandi or Torre del Muda (known as Torre della Fame - Hunger Tower - because of the death of Count Ugolino della Gherardesca, told by Dante in the Divine Comedy).
About the stamps
On the first postcard
The stamp, dedicated to Italian Military Mission (0.75 €) and designed by F. Abbati, was issued on November 12, 2011.
On the second postcard
The stamp belongs to a series of definitive stamps, about which I wrote here.
Pisa - Wikipedia
Piazza dei Miracoli -Wikipedia
Santa Maria della Spina - Wikipedia
Palazzo dell'Orologio - Clock Tower - TuscanyPass.com
Sender 1: Marius Vasilescu
sent from Florence (Tuscany / Italy), on 19.04.2012
Sender 2: Ana
sent from Pisa (Tuscany / Italy), on 30.05.2014
photo: Cerrini Babrozio