The Baptistery of Padua is located to the right of the Cathedral of the city, on the Piazza del Duomo. It is dedicated to John the Baptist. The main point of interest of the building is a fresco cycle by Giusto de’ Menabuoi.
Address: Piazza Duomo, 14 – Padova. Phone: (+39) +39 049 656914. Opening hours: 10.00 till 18.00. Admission: 3 Euros (discount: 2 Euros).
History and description
The Battistero di San Giovanni was built toward the end of the 12th century, in a late Romanesque-Lombard style.
It was built towards the end of the 12th century. A reconstruction in 1260 gave it its present form. Dedication took place in 1281.
Around 1370, it was transformed into a Mausoleum for the Carrara family.
The Baptistery has a square floor plan. It has a rather high, circular drum and a dome. Its apse also has a small dome.
The wall and ceiling frescoes by Giusto de’ Menabuoi were also painted in the 13th century. They are characterized by an extreme attention to detail. The cycle was commissioned by Francesco da Carrara the Elder and his wife Fina Buzzaccarini. It took the artist from 1375 till 1378 to execute the entire work.
The paintings are extremely well preserved. There are altogether about 100 different scenes. “Paradise” is depicted on the dome itself. The drum is decorated with “Stories of Genesis”, and the pendentives show “Prophets and Evangelists”.
Highlights are the “Paradise” in the dome, the “Stories of Genesis” (on the drum), and “the Prophets and the Evangelists” on the pendentives.