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Cathedrals in Lucca

cathedrals in Lucca

Cathedrals in Lucca
Lucca Cathedral
Considered by everyone to be a jewel of Pisan Romanesque architecture in Tuscany, it is situated in Piazza San Martino, in the south of the historical center of Lucca. The construction of this Romanesque Cathedral began in approximately 1060, and was comissioned by the then Bishop of Lucca, Anselmo da Baggio (1015 c. - 1073), who would be elected pope in 1061, adopting the name of Alexander II. To this day, the huge apse of the original construction of the Cathedral remains in perfect condition. Towering columns support the apse and the Belfry. The cathedral was completed in 1070 and it was dedicated to St. Martin. At the entrance to the Duomo, on the right hand side, you can see a beautiful sculpture which dates from the early thirteenth century, describing some stories from the saint's life, such as the legend about St. Martin, when he was a young soldier in the service of Rome , brandishing a sword to cut his cloak and share it with an old beggar. This group of sculptures was originally placed on the exterior part of the Duomo´s facade. Under the porch of the cathedral you can admire other splendid Romanesque sculptures, depicting other scenes from the life of St. Martin. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, Lucca Cathedral was completely rebuilt and in 1261, the impressive building was joined with the XI century Belfry, and two upper levels were also added. The outstanding and beautifully ornate Romanesque facade was designed and made by the famous sculptor and architect Lombard Guidetto da Como (who lived and worked in Lucca from the early thirteenth century until an unknown date). Guidetto da Como began constructing the facade in 1204. The facade consists of three large arches opening on to the porch and three levels of simple galleries. It is probable that Guidetto da Como intended to crown the facade with a acroterion, but it never happened. In order that the facade could join on to Belfry, the right side has three arches less than the left side. The porch was decorated by the second half of the thirteenth century, with beautiful Romanesque sculptures, created by different Lombard artists, including Guidetto da Como. On the front, next to the entrance, you can see a circular labyrinth engraved on the stone wall . The maze (49 cm.) Represents the labyrinth of Daedalus in Crete. Below it, there is a Latin inscription that says: "This is the labyrinth that Daedalus built for Crete. No one that enters can leave it, except Theseus".
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