Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral is a real Renaissance jewel in the "ideal town".
The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, the main church of Pienza, is not only the most magnificent monument of the “ideal town” but also one of the most important Renaissance complex in Italy, symbol of the great power of Pope Pius II. Designed by Rossellino and built in 1459, it is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and was erected on the ruins of the ancient Romanesque church of Santa Maria.
Influenced by L.B. Alberti, the building has a travertine façade divided into three portals and three big arches, each with a small rechess. The sloping roof and the central rose window are features that refer to the French Gothic style. The interior, with three naves, resembles the style of the Austrian churches that the Pope used to visit during his trips to northern Europe. The apse is divided into chapels, the largest one is the magnificent choir.
Among the works of the church, there are altarpiece paintings made by Sienese painters of the fourteenth century like Giovanni di Paolo, Matteo di Giovanni, Lorenzo di Pietro (known as Vecchietta) and Sano di Pietro. In the crypt there are sculptures from the ancient Romanesque church of Santa Maria and the baptismal font by Rossellino.
An ideal city, founded on a uniform idea of beauty
Pienza is the most well-known center of the Val d’Orcia and is famous as being the home town of Pope Pius II, born Enea Silvio Piccolomini in 1405. Pius II, once elected Pope, transformed his home town, Corsignano, into an urban-architectural jewel, in this way contrasting it with the city that had marginalized his family: Siena. ...