Opera del Duomo, Piazza Duomo, 26 – Orvieto (TR)
Telephone: +39 0763.3441167
Hours Duomo - Chapel of San Brizio
- November-February 9:30 – 17:00
- March-October 9:30 – 18:00
- April-September 9:30-19:00
Sundays and holidays
- November-February 13:00 – 16:30
- March-October 13:00 – 17:30
Ticket Duomo + Chapel of San Brizio: € 4.00
Called “the golden lily of the cathedrals”, the Cathedral of Orvieto is one of the most beautiful architectural expressions in the Gothic-Romanesque style of Italy. Its construction was started in 1290 and among the various reasons (political, urban, social, artistic) tradition required the construction of the Cathedral due to the Eucharistic miracle that took place in Bolsena in 1263. The first project of the facade design of the Duomo is probably attributable to Arnolfo di Cambio which was followed by Lorenzo Maitani after about twenty years. The latter mostly owes the image of the present Cathedral as his successors also followed the model and indications of the Sienese master.
The facade of the Cathedral is embellished by the bas-reliefs at the base of the four spiers, by the bright golden mosaics and by the beautiful rose window in the center, a masterpiece by Andrea di Cione called l’Orcagna. The bas-reliefs depict scenes from the old and the new Testament (Genesis, Tree of Jesse, Episodes from the life of Jesus and the Last Judgment) while the mosaics tell scenes from the life of Mary (the cathedral is in fact dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo) from Assumption into heaven, to the Nativity of the Virgin, from the Annunciation to the Coronation.
The central presence of the Virgin is also represented by the bronze sculpture placed above the central portal while the other statues, also in bronze, symbolically represent the 4 Evangelists: the Angel (San Matteo), the Lion (San Marco), the Eagle (San Giovanni) the Toro (San Luca).
The interior of the cathedral has a sober style illuminated by the rose window and the large window behind the altar. At the entrance you can appreciate a large marble stoup, the baptismal font and on the left side the enthroned Madonna with Child and Angels by Gentile da Fabriano (1425). On the sides of the altar there are two chapels: the Corporale and the Nova (or the Madonna di San Brizio).
The Corporal Chapel with frescoes by Ugolino di Prete Ilario (1356 – 1364) depict biblical scenes and sacred representations such as the Crucifixion and the Eucharist. There are other valuable paintings such as the painted panel depicting the “Madonna dei Recommended” by Lippo Memmi (dated 1320). Also in this chapel the Tabernacle of the Corporal is kept and exposed. Above the entrance of the Corporal chapel is the monumental organ designed and sculpted by Ippolito Scalza while always by the work of Scalza himself it is the sculptural work of the Pietà (or Deposition).
The Chapel of San Brizio with the walls and vaults frescoed by Luca Signorelli (starting work in 1499 and ending in 1504), is a masterpiece by the Cortona painter who masterfully represents the theme of the Universal Judgment, in an alternation of apocalyptic and redemption scenes. The theme and the representations created by Signorelli were of inspiration for Michelangelo in the realization of the frescoes of the famous Sistine Chapel.
On the sides of the altar the statues of the Annunciation by Francesco Mochi have recently been placed back in their original positions. A masterpiece of 17th-century sculpture representing the Announcing Angel (1603) and the Annunciated Virgin (1608). The Angel statue is considered the first Baroque sculpture in history.