As highly rated as it is from a tourist point o view, Pisa could not but host a few extremely interesting museums which speak about the religious and artistic past of the city, the richness of which has been preserved this way. Thus, despite the fact that the famed Leaning Tower has managed to become the closest thing to the idea of symbol of this Tuscan city, the museums of Pisa might just as well surprise as to the value of their assets.

To begin with, the Cathedral Works Museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) is not exclusively related to the Cathedral of Pisa as such, but it also hosts a plethora of exhibits relevant to the entire Field of Miracles and to its ecclesiastical landmarks, such as the Baptistery. Divided into several rooms, each with either a specific category of items or with miscellaneous displays, this museum is said to take pride in hosting a bronze griffin, the most precious asset of the establishment, dating back to the 11th century. This exhibit got to Pisa as a war prize subsequently to the First Crusade, and its intended use was of embellishing the Cathedral’s dome.

Yet, in view of protecting the item against wear, the original was sheltered in the Cathedral Museum, its rightful place on the dome being taken by a copy. Other items refer to models of the Cathedral and etched glass rendering some overall information about the Field of Miracles, such as its lay-out and history – all of these being housed in room 1. Other rooms comprise some relatively well preserved works of art dating back to the 13th century, and pertaining to the famous Giovanni Pisano, but the heritage of Carlo Lasinio, a later artist to which Pisa owes a significant restoration work of the frescoes embellishing the edifices in the Filed of Miracles, is also hosted in the Cathedral Museum. Next to the above mentioned bronze griffin, one exhibit with a great impact to the public refers to a wooden crucifix from Burgundy and dating back to the 12th century, this medieval item being said to call forth a striking resemblance to modern art. The museum has been opened since 1986, and its intended purpose is both the protection of displays against wear and making them, at the same time, more accessible to the public.

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo
Piazza Arcivescovado 6, Pisa, Italy
Telephone number:
0039 (0)50 560 547