Entry price: € 6.00
groups and over 65 € 4, € 1 schools. Note: Possibility of combined ticket to visit the Diocesan Museum € 7 full price; € 5 for groups with over 65 years, € 1 for school groups. Free for disabled
Daily 9-12.30 and 15-18.45. When the functions are not allowed tourists to visit.
Telephone: +39 0521208699
This octagonal baptistery built of Verona marble with four tiers of open loggias topped by a row of blind arches and crowning pinnacles, is certainly the most outstanding example of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art in Italy.
Begun in 1196 by the same Lombard builders working on the cathedral, it was completed between 1302 and 1307.
Benedetto Antelami supervised its construction and executed almost all the decorative sculptures, typical of the medieval iconography. The lowest part of the baptistery is encircled by a zoophorus with bas-relief sculptures of animals, fabulous beasts, creatures from Hell, sea monsters, centaurs, mermaids, unicorns and Zodiac signs.
The north door or Portale della Vergine is decorated with scenes of the Adoration of the Magi and the Annunciation, the twelve prophets, the Tree of Jacob on the right, the Tree of Jesse on the left and the Tree of life on the inside. The west door or Portale del Giudizio has a figure of the Redeemer in the lunette. The south door is known as the Portale della Vita or Door of Life and the scene in its lunette shows a man eating honey in a tree with two rodents and a dragon at the base while on the sides are the chariots of Sun and Moon.
In the interior, a sixteen-sided polygon, are the notable sculptures by Benedetto Antelami depicting the Months, the Seasons and the Signs of Zodiac. Above the altar, in the semi-dome, is a Christ in Glory surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists and two angels.
Source: local Staff of Parma