Are you looking at our enchanting city cathedral from the main square and thinking you must have some sight problems? Do not worry! It is only a special perspective effect aimed at by the constructors, due to the fact that the major axis of the building is oblique to the square. The Duomo combines Gothic features with definitely Renaissance ones. Started at the behest of the bishop of Padua in 1431,in the place of a small 10th-century church, it was finished only in 1502, due not only to recurrent famines and economic difficulties,but also to serious structural problems. The turning point was the building ofthe extraordinary roof vault. It solved the static problems of such an imposing structure, which was 30 meters high and more than twice as long, and also harmonized its Gothic elements with the Renaissance style. The Duomo features numerous artworks, the most noteworthy of which are the famous Veronese altarpiece, placed on the main altar and representing the Transfiguration, the enormous fresco of the apse, entitled Holy Mary’s Assumption and painted by Giovanni Buonconsiglio known as the Marescalco, and,finally, the two frescoes on the counter-façade (depicting David with the head of giant Goliath and Judith who has just beheaded proud general Holofernes),both attributed to Giorgione.
- The axis of the plant, a Latin cross, is oriented according to the cardinal points. This creates a remarkable optical effect, turning the building into an architectural solar sundial: at noon the first rays of the sun peeking out from behind the right edge strike the two white stone spheres placed on the semi-columns of the church portal, making them shine as if they were two small planets.
The bell tower of the Cathedral is completely detached from the imposing building: also called “Torre dei Battù”, it is located next to Porta Vicenza. As a matter of fact, it is just one of the guard towers, which is recognizable as it is higher and equipped with spires and large windows.