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Midnight on the Ponte di Mezzo bridge over the Arno river in Pisa, Italy. 
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Midnight on the Ponte di Mezzo bridge over the Arno river in Pisa, Italy.
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The Lungarno Gambacorti boulevard running along the Arno river in Pisa, Italy. 
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The Lungarno Gambacorti boulevard running along the Arno river in Pisa, Italy.
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A 15-euro ticket buys you this view from the top of the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa, Italy. 
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A 15-euro ticket buys you this view from the top of the famous Leaning Tower in Pisa, Italy.
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The Duomo and the Baptistry seen from the Leaning Tower of PisaThe Duomo and the Baptistry seen from the Leaning Tower of PisaInside the Leaning Tower of PisaView from the overhanging side of the Leaning Tower of PisaStairs leading to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
The interior of the cathedral in Pisa, Italy. 
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The interior of the cathedral in Pisa, Italy.

Wikipedia: The heart of the Piazza del Duomo is, obviously, the Duomo, the medieval cathedral, entitled to Santa Maria Assunta (St. Mary of the Assumption). This is a five-naved cathedral with a three-naved transept. The church is known also as the Primatial, the archbishop of Pisa being a Primate since 1092.

Construction was begun in 1064 by the architect Busketo, and set the model for the distinctive Pisan Romanesque style of architecture. The mosaics of the interior, as well as the pointed arches, show a strong Byzantine influence. [...]

The interior is faced with black and white marble and has a gilded ceiling and a frescoed dome. It was largely redecorated after a fire in 1595, which destroyed most of the medieval art works. Fortunately, the impressive mosaic, in the apse, of Christ in Majesty, flanked by the Blessed Virgin and St. John the Evangelist, survived the fire. It evokes the mosaics in the church of Monreale, Sicily. Although it is said that the mosaic was done by Cimabue, only the head of St. John was done by the artist in 1302 and was his last work, since he died in Pisa in the same year. The cupola, at the intersection of the nave and the transept, was decorated by Riminaldi showing the ascension of the Blessed Virgin.

Galileo is believed to have formulated his theory about the movement of a pendulum by watching the swinging of the incense lamp (not the present one) hanging from the ceiling of the nave. That lamp, smaller and simpler than the present one, it is now kept in the Camposanto, in the Aulla chapel.

The impressive granite Corinthian columns between the nave and the aisle came originally from the mosque of Palermo, captured by the Pisans in 1063. The coffer ceiling of the nave was replaced after the fire of 1595. The present gold-decorated ceiling carries the coat of arms of the Medici.

The elaborately carved pulpit (1302-1310), which also survived the fire, was made by Giovanni Pisano and is one the masterworks of medieval sculpture. It was packed away during the redecoration and was not rediscovered and re-erected until 1926. The pulpit is supported by plain columns (two of which mounted on lions sculptures) on one side and by caryatids and a telamon on the other: the latter represent St. Michael, the Evangelists, the four cardinal virtues flanking the Church, and a bold, naturalistic depiction of a naked Hercules. A central plinth with the liberal arts supports the four theological virtues. The present day reconstruction of the pulpit is not the correct one. Now it lies not in the same original position, that was nearer the main altar, and the disposition of the columns and the panels are not the original ones. Also the original stairs (maybe in marble) were lost.

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Giovanni Pisano's pulpit in the Duomo in PisaGiovanni Pisano's pulpit in the Duomo in Pisa
On the balcony of the 12th-century Baptistry in Pisa, Italy. 
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On the balcony of the 12th-century Baptistry in Pisa, Italy.

"The Baptistery, which as in all the ancient Italian churches, is separated from the cathedral, stands about fifty paces from it full in front. It is raised on three steps, is circular, and surmounted with a graceful dome. It has two stories, formed of halfpillars supporting round arches; the undermost is terminated by a bold cornice; the second, where the pillars stand closer, and the arches are smaller, runs up into numberless high pediments and pinnacles, all topped by statues. Above these, rises a third story without either pillars or arches, but losing itself in high pointed pediments with pinnacles, crowned again with statues without number. The dome is intersected by long lines of very prominent stone fretwork, all meeting in a little cornice near the top, and terminating in another little dome which bears a statue of St. John the Baptist, the titular saint of all such edifices. The interior is admired for its proportion. Eight granite columns form the under story, which supports a second composed of sixteen marble pillars; on this rests the dome. The ambo or desk for reading is of most beautiful marble, upheld by ten little granite pillars, and adorned with basso relievos, remarkable rather for the era and the sculptor than for their intrinsic merit. The font is also marble, a great octagon vase, raised on three steps and divided into five compartments, the largest of which is in the middle. The dome is famous for its echo, as the sides produce the well-known effect of whispering galleries. This edifice, which is the common baptistery of the city as there is no other font in Pisa, was erected about the middle of the twelfth century by the citizens at large, who, by a voluntary subscription of a fiorino each, defrayed the expenses." (John Chetwode Eustace: A Tour through Italy, Vol. II, London 1813).
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The Baptistry in Pisa
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Thursday, Nov 2, 2017: On the walls of Palácio da Pena in Sintra, Portugal
Palácio da Pena
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