|Basilica di San Domenico|
After passing by St. Catherine’s birthplace (she was the youngest of twenty-five children), we hiked up the ravine (that’s how the Italians are all so skinny) to the Duomo di Siena. Upon seeing the extravagant façade, we thought we were at the entrance—oh, nope, that’s just the back. Remember the rivalry? Well, Siena wanted to out-do Florence and have the biggest church in Italy. Unfinished walls and arches still remain, but unfortunately, the city ran out of money and the Black Plague hit, which halted construction. However, the basilica was expanded later on (about seven hundred years ago), but it destroyed and covered up several thirteenth century frescoes that have only recently been rediscovered. Jodie gave us a tour of the crypt, which has still not been fully excavated (and can’t be without compromising the structure of the church). The scenes from the Old Testament have mostly been destroyed, and support beams for the basilica cut into what remains of the scenes from the New Testament.
|The best view of the frescoes from the crypt that I could find online|
|Allegory and Effects of Good and Bad Government (image found)|