Orvieto Chatedral

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Orvieto Cathedral

The Cathedral

This building upstages any other construction in the region, or even in the whole of Italy. The golden lily of the cathedrals as it is commonly known was begun in 1290, following the Romanesque style. Its construction took years and years and as different architects took over its design  Gothic elements were also incorporated.

As in other churches such as in Siena and Pisa there is black and white marble banding. However its façade is a kaleidoscope of colours due to mosaics, sculptures and stones.
As has been recorded in history books, a Bohemian priest who was sceptical of transubstantiation had his doubts removed as drops of blood fell from the Host onto the altar cloth while he was taking mass in Bolsena. Urban IV decided it was a miracle that had to be celebrated with a cathedral and he ordered this one to be constructed in Orvieto and that day to be established as Corpus Domini day, which is celebrated in June with a procession led by the reliquary holding the altar cloth stained with blood.

The construction of the cathedral was planned in 30 years and finished in 300 years. Fra Bevignate, Lorenzo Maltani, Andrea Pisano, Nino Pisano, Andrea Orcagna and Michele Sanicheli all contributed one after the other.

The gables are tiled with mosaics which in general area are copies and which glimmer in the sunshine. Maitani and his students made the bas-relief in the 14th century which embellishes the area between the doorways. The bas relief depicts classic bible tales. Andrea Orcagna was in charge of creating the rose window, and in the middle of last century Emilio Greco made the bronze doors.