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Massa Marittima

Veduta della città Duomo di San Cerbone

Veduta della città

Duomo di San Cerbone


Massa Marittima rises on the southern Metalliferous hills, in an area inhabited since the Etrusca period, but the final consolidation of the residential settlement coincided with the period between the VIII-th and IX-th centuries when the area was under the Aldobrandeschi's domination, who erected many castles. During the XIII centuri Massa Marittima was under the Pisa’s domination and during this period it experienced a great economic development that was supported by the growing mining activity with excavations in the close hills. The town also had a great population increase and during the XIII century it was enlarged.
The Cathedral, dedicated to San Cerbone, was built between the end of the XII century and the first half of the XIII century in the place where a more ancient church was set. Its façade develops on three overlapping artistic orders: the lower order is made of seven blind arcades decorated with oculi and lozenges. In the middle order, five blind arches are arranged to imitate a covered gallery: the thin central columns, that are set in front of a rose window added later, rise on sculptures representing the Simboli degli Evangelisti.
The façade tympanum is also decorated with a covered gallery constituted of ten sloping arcades. The façade rose window has a polychrome stained glass window dating to the first half of the XVI century and representing "San Cerbone davanti al Papa Virgilio". Numerous works of art are kept inside the Dome of Massa Marittima. Among them, there is the font, set at the beginning of the right aisle and created from one single travertine block in 1267 by Giroldo da Como, the marble monument called the Arca of San Cerbone, precious work signed by the author Goro di Gregorio and dating to 1324, and the fragmentary "Maestà" painted on wood panel around the year 1316 by the famous Sienese painter Duccio di Buoninsegna and by his school, representing the "Madonna col Bambino" (the so-called Madonna delle Grazie) on the front side and the "Storie della Passione di Cristo" on the reverse side.
We also mention the Church of San Francesco, in gothic style, the XIV century Church of San Pietro all’Orto, the XV century Church of San Rocco, the Church of Sant’Agostino, the Palazzo del Podestà, built in the XIII century and now hosts the Archaeological Museum and the Gallery where it is possible to admire a famous Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s work of art, the medieval Palazzo Comunale, the XIII century Palazzo dei conti Biserno, Monteregio Castle (IX century) and the Cassero Senese (XIII century).


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