What fascinates me about this cathedral (besides the incredibly medieval interior) is the mid-14th-c plan to enlarge it and create a church even larger than that of rival Florence. It was started in 1339, but in 1348 the Black Plague arrived. Half the city died or fled and work stopped. Here stand the partially built walls--framing a parking lot. The red brick is a museum built in the aisle.
The interior of the cathedral is mind-boggling as well. Definitely NOT twentieth-century design.
Even the floor is covered with stories.
I couldn't skip the Piccolomini Library, although I see that I didn't take any pictures of books.
I was pretty spaced out by then. We went back to the hotel and I went to bed, leaving Steve to find lunch on his own. In the late afternoon we headed out to see the baptistry (right) built underneath the nave. The steps lead to the never-finished part of the cathedral.
The font shows the baptism of Christ as do some of the wall paintings.
According to the authoritative Wikipedia article, the baptistry was completed in 1325, but the design on the floor seems to be a premonition of the Black Death.
Across the piazza from the duomo is the Santa Maria della Scalla, a medieval hospital used into the 20th c. I saw a photo of twentieth-century hospital beds lined up in this ward. By then I was coughing so much I thought they might let me stay.
Sunday we traveled from Siena to Rome to Amsterdam. We got lost (again) on our way to the train station. We came down the wrong side of a ridge and were going the opposite direction from the station when we stopped to ask directions. We made our way back up the ridge where we found a long escalator (series of escalators actually) that come down into a shopping center across the street from the station.
Monday was Amsterdam to home in time for Steve to get to band practice. I went to bed and slept most of Tuesday as well. I'm feeling much better now, but I did not get pictures up until now. I would love to return to Tuscany when I am healthier and have the time just to soak it all in instead of running around trying not to miss anything. Anyone want to rent a villa?