1 Amazing Disneyland Paris Castle Sleeping Beauty

disneyland paris castle Sleeping Beauty

Disneyland Paris Castle. The Sleeping Beauty Castle, the dragon under the castle, the inside of the castle and the final show.

Disneyland Paris Castle

It’s the central icon of Disneyland Paris and it’s the place where dreams come true.

Don’t miss to see the drago under the castle. Under the castle there is “La Tanière du Dragon” where a monstrous prisoner lurks. Once the ruler of the skies, this defeated dragon lies chained against jagged rocks. It may be dozing, but tread carefully, as one false move will lead to a hot, rumbling surprise;).

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The Lion Gate Mycenae: 1 Extraordinary Ruin of Ancient Greece

The Lion Gate Mycenae Ancient Greece

The Lion Gate Mycenae – Not far from the Treasury of Atreus or Agamemnon’s Tomb we find the ancient city of Mycenae. The entrance to the city was guaranteed by a very particular door: The Lion Gate Mycenae.

The fortification wall of the Mycenaean acropolis follows the natural contour of the ground and is founded directly on the outcropping bedrock. It is in the shape of a triangle and covers an area of 30,000 sq. m. with a total length of 900 m. It was built in three construction phases.

The oldest fortification, which dates to 1350 BC, contained the highest part of the hill. For the construction of these walls were used boulders of hard limestone bedrock.

The Lion Gate Mycenae Ancient Greece (2)

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The Lion Gate Mycenae: description

The Lion Gate Mycenae is characterized by a central slab supported by two lateral ones. Rectangular stone rocks are placed one above the other except for the suspended central slab. A pure aesthetic factor?

The heavy stone rocks were not placed on the central slab in order not to weigh it down. There was in fact the risk that otherwise it could be broken. For this reason it was left empty. In order not to leave it completely empty and to complete the work, a decorative plate was placed.

Why is it called Lion Gate?

The Lion Gate Mycenae takes its name from the decorative plate placed on the top of the door. It is called the Lion Gate but it would be more correct to call it the lionesses Gate. The lions on the slab lack the characteristic mane of the lions.

The decorative slab is now partially ruined by time but the 2 lionesses must have originally had their heads turned towards those who entered.

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The Remarkable Epidaurus Theater

The Remarkable Epidaurus Theater (3)

For many peoples the main reason to visit the Archaeological Site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus is the Epidaurus Theater.

The Epidaurus Theater is in fact the best preserved monument in the Sanctuary of Asklepios.

The Remarkable Epidaurus Theater

Let’s see a few information about the Epidaurus Theater!

How old is the Epidaurus Theater?

The Epidaurus Theater was erected at the end of the 4th century B.C.

Who built the theater of Epidaurus?

According to the ancient traveler Pausanias (2nd century A.D.), it was the work of the architect Polykleitos, who built also the Tholos in the same Sanctuary.

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How many people could the original Theatre of Epidaurus seat?

The auditorium of the Theatre the koilon or cavea, consists of two unequal parts, which are divided by a horizontal walkway, known as the diazoma. The lower part is divided by 13 radiating staircases into 12 wedge-shaped segments, the kerkides or cunei, with 34 rows of seats each. At the upper part of the cavea 23 radiating passages divide it into 22 wedge-shaped segments with 20 rows of seats.

To each segment of the lower part correspond two segments of the upper part. The seats of the lowest row were provided with backrests and used as “prohedriae” (front seats of honour); similarly shaped were the seats of the upper part’s first row. Uphill pathways outside the Theatre led on both sides to the horizontal passage which divided the upper from the lower part of the cavea.

It is estimated that the Epidaurus Theater could accommodate 12,000 spectators.

What is remarkable about the theater at Epidaurus?

Epidaurus Theater is a characteristic example of the tripartite structure of Hellenic theatres (orchestra – cavea – stage building). Its original form remained intact in Roman times, during which most Greek theatres underwent major changes. The floor of the circular orchestra (diameter 20 m) is beaten earth. It is outlined in stone,while at its centre a circular base of an altar, the thymele, is preserved. The orchestra is surrounded by a walkway in lower level, which served additionally as a drain for rainwater.

The scene (stage building) in front of the orchestra and the cavea served the needs of the actors and had a parallel use as storage room of theatrical equipment.

The scene building was composed of

  1. a rectangular oblong hall with two smaller square rooms on each side,
  2. a proscenium (stage), on whose facade were fixed panels representing the setting of each play,
  3. two ramps, one on each side, which provided access to the roof of the proscenium for the actors, and
  4. an upper storey of the scene building, of which no evidence has been preserved.

Scholars estimate that the total height of the stage building was 7.60 m. Spectators entered the Epidaurus Theater through two impressive gate situated on both sides of the stage building, between it an the lower part of the retaining wall of the cavea. The seats of the cavea were made out of local grey at reddish hard limestone while for the stage building a yellow soft limestone was used.

The cavea was constructed at the end of the 4th century B.C. while the stage building was modified during the 2nd century B.C. A characteristic feature of the Theatre was (and still is) its excellent acoustics. It had largely to do with its design. The creation of the circular shape of the cavea was based on three centres. The eight central cunei corresponded to a circumference which had as centre the centre of the orchestra.

The two lateral cunei were designed with different centres, which lay further away from the centre of the orchestra providing thus a larger radius and consequently a larger circle. This”opening” on the edges of the cavea,beside its contribution to acoustics, allowed a better view to those sitting in the lateral cunei.

What was the Theatre of Epidaurus used for?

The Theatre of the Sanctuary was closely connected to the cult of Asklepios.

During the festivals held in honour of the god athletic games, but also musical and dramatic contests took place. The latter were surely housed in the Theatre, where most probably also deep-rooted ceremonies closer connected with the cult took place.

Why is the Theatre at Epidaurus still famous?

Today theatrical plays are again performed in the Epidaurus Theater during the summer (Epidauros festival). The Theatre was excavated in 1881 by P. Kavvadias, who then carried out partial restorations. Restoration works by An. Orlandos took place in the monument in the years 1954-1963.

He proceeded then to a reconstruction of the proscenium, which was later removed.The Committee for the Conservation of the Epidauros Monuments restored the western parodos gate, the last upper western cuneus (1988-1999) and the ancient drains (1992-2007). A third program includes restoration works in the cavea and the stage building.

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Verbania Italy Lake Maggiore. Pallanza 1 adorable town!

Verbania Italy lake maggiore

Verbania Italy – Verbania is a beautiful town on the Lake Maggiore. It’s part of the cities of the Gulf Borromean where there are the 3 famous Borromean Islands: Isola Bella, Isola Madre and Isola Pescatori.

Verbania Pallanza

Verbania Italy – Verbania is a city formed by smaller towns that a time where independent: Pallanza, Intra, Suna, Trobaso. In this post we are going to speak about Pallanza.

Verbania Pallanza is located in front of Stresa Italy and very close to the Isola Madre. The others 2 islands Isola bella and Isola Pescatori are instead closer to Stresa. From Verbania you can anyway take the boat and do a beautiful tour on the lake visiting alla these islands and also Stresa.

verbania italy lake maggiore pallanza

Verbania Pallanza isn’t as luxurios as Stresa but it has a few positive aspect compared to this other town. For example Verbania has a privileged position on the Lake Maggiore. The sun goes down in front of Verbania Pallanza. In this way Verbania Pallanza has more sun hours than Stresa. This is true as in the morning as in the evening. In fact especially in winter Stresa has very few hours of sun. In the morning is very cold and the afternoon is very short.

Because the sun goes down in front of Verbania Pallanza, behind the mountains on the Stresa’s side, in Verbania you can enjoy of the view of beautiful sunsets.

In the evening there is something special! Stresa is famous for its big hotels. All these hotels in the evening are illuminated and from Pallanza you can see all these beautiful lights.

Verbania Italy Lake Maggiore. Pallanza stresa lights

Verbania Intra

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Video Verbania Italy in Summer

Here you can see something more about Pallanza.

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Ancient Corinth: exciting day trips from Athens

ancient corinth greece

Ancient Corinth is a very good day trip from Athens. From Athens it takes about 1 hour and 15 minuted by car. Ancient Corinth is worthy of a visit for several reasons.

Firstly it’s very interesting in trying to understand the life in the this rich city. It was a very multicultural city because of the Corinth Canal. It’s true it wasn’t navigable till the end of the 1800 so ships had to be transported to the other side and they prefered this option rather than navigate all around the Peloponnese Region. You can see how the Corinth Canal is now, watching the video below:

Ancient Corinth is also linked with the Apostle Paul who lived and preached in the city for several time.

In order to enjoy more the visit we examine a few information about the Ancient Corinth.

What are the characteristics of the Ancient Corinth? What was life like there? You’ll discover it while reading this post.

Outside the walls of Ancient Corinth

Ancient Corinth covered a range of 900 km2 because there wasn’t only the main city but also many smaller settlements.

Already from the 8th c. B.C., it was a rich and a powerful city-state especially due to two ports:

  1. At Lechaion in the Corinthian Gulf
  2. At Kenchreai from the side of the Saronic Gulf

Ancient Corinth and its reign

East

The eastern region of Corinthia was relatively underpopulated. The most important settlement of the region must have been Solygeia, close to the modern village Galataki.

North

The most northern settlement of Corinthia was Krommyon, close to the modern village Ayoio Theodoroi. According to myth, this is where Theseus killed the dangerous sow, Phaia.

Corinthian Identity

Corinth consisted of dozens of settlements, small and large. But what did their residents have in common?

These people drew their common descent from the Dorians. And of course, they shared a common language and alphabet.

Ancient Corinth was built at the foot of the Acrocorinth, a majestic hill, dominating the landscape.

The home’s life in Ancient Corinth

In ancient Greece private buildings were usually humble structures unlike many public magnificent constructions.

Households were run by women. They were responsible for raising their children and supervising the slaves, who were given the heaviest duties in the house.

Men were usually absent. mainly occupied with political and professional engagements.

Visiting the Ancient Corinth you easily understand how the women’s habits were very similar to ours. In the museum you can see face care sets, such as profumes and cosmetics, hair accessories and eyebrow tweezers.

Gods Venerating And Heroes

The Corinthians worshiped Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, Demeter, Kore, Hera and Poseidon. Hero cult was a distinctive aspect of ancient Greek religious life. 

Heroes, men who had showed remarkable activity during their lifetime, were honored after their death with rituals performed at their tombs or at an open-air sanctuary. Heroes’ sanctuaries were built along side roads or over older graves.

A temple dedicated to Apollo

The Temple of Apollo is the archaeological site biggest monument. The temple was built in the 6th c. B.C., when Corinth was at its zenith, on the site of an earlier temple. It was constructed from the local poros limestone.

The temple is in Doric order and originally had six columns at each end and fifteen along each side. Notable characteristics of its archaic date include the great length of the temple relative to its width, the large monolithic columns, and the squat, widely flaring capitals. Although most of this mid-6th century B.C. building has been destroyed, the bedrock preserves cut-tings made to receive the foundation blocks and thus allows a reconstruction of the temple’s plan.

temple dedicated to Apollo ancient corinth

The main part of the temple (sekos) was split into two non-communicating rooms. The roof was decorated with colorful architectural elements.

The interior of the temple consists of a porch at either end and a long central part (the cella) divided into two rooms by a cross wall. The traditional reconstruction of the plan makes this cross wall a solid wall and provides access to the western room of the cella through the western door.

The seven standing columns of the Archaic temple are one of the most prominent landmarks of Corinth.

The Acrocorinth: The sanctuary of Demeter and Kore

Demeter and her daughter, Kore or Persephone, were worshiped in a large sanctuary on the northern slope of the Acrocorinth. 

In the 4th c. B.C., a small theater was carved into the rock. Three small temples were also built in the Roman Period.

Odeum & theater of Ancient Corinth

The theater was a place in which dramatic and musical events were staged. In the roman period staged fighting was added.

The theater has several phases. The original structure was built late in the 5th c. B.C. and had permanent seats but only a wooden stage building.

This was supplemented with a new orchestra and stage structure in the Hellenistic period. 

In later antiquity theatrical tastes changed and the orchestra was converted into a gladiatorial arena.

Ancient Corinth and Cristianity

Ancient Corinth is also important because is linked with apostle Paul’s or Apostle of the Nations. Paul lived and preached in Corinth. When you visit the ancient Corinth you can also see the famous Bema.

ancient Corinth

This was likely the tribunal were Paul was brought for judgment before the proconsul Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus. He was accused of illegal proselitism and they brought him in the tribunal or bèma.

Because of its position the bema was used to speak to the crowd. Not only the Ancient Corinth has a bema. In the ancient greek cities it was in fact common to meet in front to a Bema.

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What is Montmartre Paris famous for? 3 things you should’t miss!

montmatre paris artists

Montmartre Paris – In the Northern part of Paris there’s the famous neighborhood of Montmartre, also known as the the painter’s neighborhood. Montmartre enjoys considerable fame thanks to the illustrious artists who lived here such as Van Gogh, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.

You should dedicate half a day to Montmartre Paris in order to enjoy the atmoshere and because it’s not very close to the Eiffel Tower. How far is Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower? It takes less than a hour to get to Montmatre but at least 40 minutes by train.

It’s really worthy to visit Montmartre Paris. So what should you see in the Montmartre Paris area? In this post you’ll find 3 things you should’t miss!

What to see in Montmartre Paris

1 – The Basilica of the Sacre Coeur

The particularity of this neighborhood is that it is on a hill. On top of this hill there’s the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur. What makes this Basilica so famous besides its position it is the stone with which it’s made. It has in fact a very light color limestone.

paris sacre coeur montmartre paris

It is easily the first thing you see in the Montmartre area because once out of the subway one of the first things you see is a flight of stairs. You can get to the top of the hill by walking on this flight of stairs. On the top there is the Basilica.

When you arrive near the Basilica you can admire and appreciate all the details of this monument. It has the peculiarity of not retaining the smog. For this reason the rain can clean the Basilica so the Basilica is shinier after a rain.

The Basilica of the Sacre Coeur is also famous because it appears 2 times in the movie “The Fabulous Destiny of Amelie”.

From the square under the Basilica you can admire Paris from above. This is a wonderful balcony on the city, a nice surprise for the tourists visiting the Basilica.

Montmartre Paris

Everything gets even better if you enjoy the view tasting one of the excellent Macarons bought in one of the shops of the area.

2 – The square of the artists

Next to the Basilica of the Sacre Coeur, there’s the famous square of the artists. This is the square where you can find painters and other artists who expose and sell their works. If you want you can also ask them to make you a portrait. Thanks to them the square is more colorful and characteristic.

Montmartre Paris painter's neighborhood

Very enjoyable is also walking through the central streets of Montmartre. You’ll noticed many characteristic restaurants and shops that contribuite to create the unique atmosphere of Montmartre.

What is Montmartre Paris famous for? 3 things you should't miss! 1

3 – Visit the Montmartre Neighborhood

After visiting the Basilica of Sacre Coeur and the square of the artists you can visit something more of the neighborhood. You can visit it on foot but it’s much better if you take the touristic train.

You can get it in the Basilica square. The ticket costs only a few euros and it’ll bring you in all around Montmartre Paris. You’ll pass near the most famous areas of Montmartre. For example it’ll pass in front of the cimitery where are placed the tombs of some famous people who lived in Montmartre.

montmatre paris artists

You should take the touristc train if you want to see Montmartre Paris better without walking too much. You can also see the famous Moulin Rouge safely. You shouldn’t go in the street of the Moulin Rouge on foot because the area it doesn’t seem so safe.

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Treasury of Atreus: the Legendary Tomb of Agamemnon

Treasury of Atreus the Legendary Tomb of Agamemnon

Greece Mycenae. Treasury of Atreus: the Legendary Tomb of Agamemnon. The Tholos or ‘Beehive’ tomb dubbed the ‘Treasury of Atreus’ or the Tomb of Agamemnon is one of the most splendid monuments of Mycenaen architecture.

Let’s see something about it so you can appreciate more your visit.

Description

This tomb is incredibly large and what makes it amazing is how it was made. It has been preserved down to our days, in fact it is just as it was originally made. Some details could go unnoticed but with a more detailed examination we understand the purpose.

This applies for example to the empty triangle above the entrance door. This triangle was used in case of earthquakes to keep the structure intact.

Another extraordinary detail that strikes our imagination is the stone block always placed above the entrance. This is in fact a single huge and very heavy block placed at a considerable height. One wonders how they got it. Maybe with rollers? In any case, it must not have been easy.

We understand the size of the Treasury of Atreus by comparing the size of the door with a person placed at the entrance. In this comparison, the person is tiny.
Just think that when you go outside on top of the monument it seems to go up a hill. This becomes an observation point for the surrounding landscape.

Treasury of Atreus

The Treasury of Atreus was built between 1350 and 1250 BC, it consists of a domos or passage, stomion or entrance, tholos or vaulted chamber and a smaller side chamber.

Distinctive features of its construction are the use of megalithic elements in the entrance such as jambs and lintel and its carefully coated masonry.

The monumental facade was decorated with a variety of materials. Parts of the sculpted decorations are today in the British Museum in London and in the National Archeological Museum in Athens.

The tomb was found robbed, like all the tholos tombs, and there is no information on either the grave goods or the burials it once housed. It was never buried by earth and remained always visible, attracting the attention of ancient and later travellers.

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Treasury of Atreus the Legendary Tomb of Agamemnon inside

Mycenae

The Treasury of Atreus is located very close to the archaeological site of the ruins of Mycenae. The visit to the Treasury of Atreus does not take long. Therefore it is easy to visit on the same day both the Treasury of Atreus and the ruins of ancient Mycenae with its attached museum.

In addition, the ticket you buy at the Treasury of Atreus is also valid for Mycenae. So don’t make the mistake of buying the same ticket twice!

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Athens Acropolis: 4 Authentic Ancient Greek Temples

Authentic Ancient Greek Acropolis

Athens Acropolis – Are you going to visit the Acropolis of Athens? The Acropolis of Athens is very famous for its Authentic Ancient Greek Temples.

In order to appreciate more your visit it’s useful to read this post to have more information about the ancient Greek Temples in the Acropolis.

The Erechtheion: ancient Greek Temple of the Ionic order

The Erechtheion is one of the most famous Ancient Greek Temples in the Athens Acropolis because of the Caryatids. It is one of the ancient Greek temples of the Ionic order. Its name comes from the name of Erechtheus, the mythical king of Athens.

The construction probably started before the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War (431 B.C) or after the conclusion of the “peace of Nicias” (421 B C. and was finished in 406 B C.).

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Acropolis Erechtheion

The Erechtheion consists of two sections divided by an interior wall. The eastern section was 3 m higher than the western. It was dedicated to Athena and housed the Xoanon, the ancient wooden cult statue of the goddess. 

The western section was also divided into three parts dedicated to the cult of Poseidon, Hephaestus and the hero Butes.

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Acropolis Erechtheion

At the south side there is the Porch of the Maidens. The roof of the porch is supported by six statues of young women. At the north side there is instead a porch with 6 Ionic columns.

Today the figures of white marble, that were attached on the decoration of the upper part of the building are preserved in the Acropolis Museum.

Also the original Caryatids are preserved in the Acropolis Museum. Infact the ones in the temple are only copies.

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Acropolis Caryatids

The Temple of Athena Nike: a small Greek Temple

The Temple of Athena Nike is a small ancient greek temple on the Acropolis of Athens. It was dedicated to Athena Nike, the goddess of war and protectress of the city. It was built in the classical era, around 420 B.C. 

The classical temple was built over an earlier small temple, which housed the Xoanon. 

Authentic Ancient Greek Temples in Athens Atena nike

The architect Kallikrates built the classical temple in the Ionic order, with four columns at the front and as well as the rear. It’s made with the native Pentelic marble.

In the temple rich sculptural decoration praises the victorious battles of the Athenians.

Gold-plated bronze Nike decorated the corners of the gables. The Ionic frieze, which runs along the upper part of the temple depicts Greek wars and on the east side the assembly of the Olympian gods. 

The Old Temple of Athena

The Old Temple of Athena on the Athens Acropolis was an Archaic temple situated to the south of the Erechtheion.

Today only the foundations are still visible. This ancient Greek temple was built in 525-500 BC. It was destroyed in 480 BC, during the Persian invasion. Many of its parts are now incorporated in the wall of the Acropolis. 

It was dedicated to Athena Polias and it housed the xoanon, as well as the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. The western section was divided into three parts. It was possibly dedicated to the cult of Poseidon, Hephaestus and the hero Boutes.

The Old Temple of Athena is a Doric peripteral building. It has 6 columns at the front, as well as at the rear, and 12 at the sides. It was built of poros, while marble was used for some upper parts, such as the metopes, pedimental sculptures and tiles. 

One pediment was adorned with a sculpted group illustrating the Gigantomachy, while other featured a partially preserved group of lions devouring a bull.

The altar located to the east of the temple is no longer preserved.

The Parthenon

Last but not least on the Athens Acropolis there is the famous Parthenon. There is a lot to say about this temple. If you want to know more about this Ancient Greek Temple visit the following page: Why is the Parthenon so special? Why is it famous?

View from Athens Acropolis

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intra verbania lake maggiore

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Why is the Leaning Tower of Pisa leaning? Was the Leaning Tower of Pisa a mistake?

Why is the leaning tower of pisa leaning

Why is the leaning tower of Pisa leaning? – Pisa is a nice city but what makes it unique in the world is its leaning tower. Pisa in fact is very famous for its square and especially for its leaning tower. Everybody visiting Pisa wants to take the picture in front of this special tower and pretend to sustain it with his hand.

The Leaning tower of Pisa is really unique! Do you want to know more about this tower? Why is the leaning tower of Pisa leaning? Is it a problem? What keeps the leaning tower of Pisa from falling?

The leaning tower of Pisa

The leaning tower is composed of a cylindrical stone body surrounded by open galleries with arcades and pillars resting on a bottom shaft, with the bell on top.

Was the leaning tower of Pisa a mistake?

When the leaning tower of Pisa was built, in 1173 nobody made any mistake. Why is the leaning tower of Pisa leaning? However after a while the tower had caught the attention of several artists for its inclination.

Why is the leaning tower of Pisa leaning?

It was discovered that the ground beneath the tower was essentially made of sand and shortly after the inauguration it started to tilt.

This caused an inclination of the tower which is currently inclined by 3.9 degrees.

Why is the leaning tower of pisa leaning was the leaning tower of pisa a mistake

What keeps the leaning tower of Pisa from falling?

The leaning tower of Pisa has not fallen till now thanks to the big work of specialized workers who acted specificallly to prevent its falling.

The current building is the result of time-consuming reconstruction work, mostly to reduce the risk that the tower might collapse as a consequence of its remarkable inclination.

I remember that in the corse of past years the tower was closed to the public for many years. For example it was closed the January 7th 1990 and it opened again 12 years later. Other times I’ve visited the tower while the workers were working upon it.

Why is the Pisa tower so famous?

Apart from its extremely famous inclination that really seems to defy the laws of statics, the Tower of the Cathedral is a very unusual building and one of a kind.

This is true for the high historical and artistic value of its forms and because of its peculiar location, within that vast and equally unique area that is the Piazza dei Miracoli.

Where is it?

The building is located in Piazza dei Miracoli but far from the Cathedral, between the apsidal area and the south-eastern section of the transept of the Cathedral.

This is an unusual location although this is not the only case as it can be found in other complexes in town and in other Italian buildings. However usually a tower was erected near the facade or along one side of the church.

Inside the Leaning Tower

This stone area accommodates a winding staircase with 293 steps leading up to the open galleries, to the bell on top and to the lower mezzanine floors. The inner shaft is closed by a vault with a central hole to let light in.

The lower floor, the six open galleries and the bell divide the tower into eight segments that are called orders.

The lower floor is enriched by a round of blind arcades placed on half columns. Under the arcade there is a diamond-shaped compass inlaid with polychrome marble with a raised rosette in the middle.

The solid wall is interrupted by the openings of some narrow single-lancet windows. Westwards it’s also interrupeted by the only entrance door: a rectangular area framed by a lintel.

Above the lintel there is a crescent-shaped arch with an inlaid archivolt. It rests on two capitals as a continuation of the jambs forming a shrine containing the bust of a 14th-century Virgin with Child.

On the sides of the door there are some friezes decorated with animals and monstrous figures. There are also the unusual figures of some ships frame the commemorative epigraph of the foundation of the building.

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