Grosseto uncovers its lovely historic center. Almost hidden away amidst the modern city that surrounds it, the ancient wall ring of the city unfolds to let you discover a vibrant lifestyle and romantic small roads, open squares, and imposing monuments. The cathedral of Grosseto, or Duomo, is one of these.
Named after the patron saint, the cathedral of San Lorenzo is the most interesting monument of the city. As attested by an inscription placed at the right end of the facade, it was built during a period going from the end of the Thirteenth century onwards under the direction of Maestro Sozzo Rustichini, who, with his authoritative personality, also participated in creating the façade of the Duomo of Siena. The works were interrupted by the onset of the war between Grosseto and Siena. They were continued around the year 1340. A series of architectural measures on the façade and interiors were undergone during the Sixteenth century under the supervision of Anton Maria Lari, a famous architect of the Republic of Siena and of many other military constructions in Maremma. The façade was also profoundly altered in the Nineteenth century due to a restoration that was aimed more at preserving structural efficiency rather than reproducing or preserving the original.
The southern side of the building was less altered by the Nineteenth-century restorations and retains its original appearance. The portal is certainly noteworthy. It is richly decorated with plant, zoomorphic and anthropomorphic motifs. It is believed that the sculptures on the southern side of the cathedral are attributable to the entourage of Giovanni d’Agostino, that worked at the New Cathedral of Siena.
The interiors hold interesting sculptures, as the imposing marble baptismal font and the sculpted frame of the Madonna altar surmounted by the precious panel of Matteo di Giovanni, both by Antonio Ghini. The sunlight beaming through the ornate Gothic windows on the right wall create a very evocative atmosphere. The artist that made the windows is Benvenuto di Giovanni, Sienese artist of the Fifteenth century.
The Sixteenth century baptismal font placed at the beginning of the left isle is noteworthy, both for the artistic value and for its singularity. The triangular base supports the stem decorated by three dolphins, which hold up the pool, decked out with garlands of flowers, while the inside with fruit, crabs, frogs and fish. A highly original theme for a sacred environment.
Where to find the Duomo of Grosseto:
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