Crypt

In the bowels of the Cathedral
The dawn of Sienese painting
A descent into the world of colour takes you into the very entrails of the Cathedral, an area commonly known as the “Crypt” and unquestionably one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the past twenty years.

History


When the work originally commissioned by the Opera della Metropolitana in 1999 to recuperate the spaces connected to the Oratory of San Giovannino and San Gennaro was expanded to include the area beneath the Cathedral chancel, it brought to light a totally unexpected space decorated with a cycle of paintings in the second half of the 13th century

The absolute novelty and superb quality of the frescoes rediscovered after so many centuries extends our knowledge of 13th centurywall painting immeasurably, providing us with crucial evidence of the birth and early development of the Sienese school of painting. Nor was the discovery confined solely to figurative art. The archaeological and architectural finds, in perfect harmony with the paintings, are also of immense interest, and indeed many of the structural elements are still abundantly decorated, offering us a new and unusual image of painted architecture. Together with the discovery of the foundations of the church’s apsidal section, this has shed valuable light on the phases of the Cathedral’s construction and on the numerous still unresolved problems surrounding it.

Frescoes


Painted by artists working Siena in the second half of the 13th century men such as Guido da Siena, Dietisalvi di Speme, Guido di Graziano and Rinaldo da Siena – the cycle of paintings is remarkable for the brightness of the colours covering not only the frescoed walls but also the columns, pilasters, capitals and corbels with geometric or phytomorphic embellishments. The scenes are arranged on two registers with stories from the Old Testament in the upper register and stories from the New Testament in the lower register. The mesmerisingly solemn depiction of the Passion of Christ captures the three great moments of the Crucifixion, the Descent of Christ from the Cross and the Entombment.

GROUND PLAN OF THE CRYPT

Position of the masterpieces inside the Crypt:

1 The Annunciation – Sienese painter, active in the last quarter of the 13th century


2 The nativity of Jesus Sienese painter, active in the last quarter of the 13th century


3 Rest during the flight into EgyptSienese painter, active in the last quarter of the 13th century


4 The deposition from the cross Sienese painter, active in the last quarter of the 13th century


OPENING TIMES CRYPT

From 1 April to 31 October
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Public Holidays: 1:30 am – 6:00 pm
The eve of Public Holidays: 10:30 am – 6:00 pm

From 1 November to 31 March
10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Public Holidays: 1:30 am – 5:30 pm
The eve of Public Holidays: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

From 26 December  to 6 January
10:30 am – 6:00 pm
Public Holidays: 1:30 am – 5:30 pm
The eve of Public Holidays: 10:30 am – 5:00 pm

Last admission 30 minutes before closing time.
The Gate of Heaven ticket can be purchased exclusively online or at the ticket office based on remaining availability.

CALL CENTER

Information, reservations and ticket sales

+39 0577 286300
TICKETS

Immediate access to the masterpieces of the Monumental Complex of the Duomo, reducing waiting times

A SINGLE TICKET THAT ALLOWS ACCESS TO THE CATHEDRAL ROOFS AND TO ALL THE MUSEUMS OF THE COMPLEX

FREE AUDIOGUIDE
Directly on your smartphone

FULL PRICE
01/04 – 06/01: € 20,00

REDUCED TICKET (CHILDREN FROM 7 TO 11 YEARS OF AGE)
01/04 – 06/01: € 5,00

FREE (CHILDREN UP TO 6 YEARS OF AGE)

Remember to always consult the rules of conduct before accessing the tour.

A SINGLE TICKET THAT ALLOWS ACCESS TO ALL THE MUSEUMS OF THE COMPLEX.

Valid for three consecutive days from the date of issue.

FREE AUDIOGUIDE
Directly on your smartphone

FULL PRICE
01/01 – 26/06; 01/08 – 17/08; 19/10 – 31/12: € 13,00

during floor uncovering
(27/06 – 31/07; 18/08 – 18/10): € 15,00

REDUCED TICKET (CHILDREN FROM 7 TO 11 YEARS OF AGE)
01/01 – 31/12: € 2,00

FREE

  • Children up to 6 years of age
  • Siena municipality residents and born
  • Journalists
  • Disabled visitors (+ one carer per visitor)
  • Clerics of both genders
  • Students of University of Siena and University for Foreigners of Siena
  • Parish groups of the Archdiocese of Siena with a letter from the parish priest

* Those born and resident in the Municipality of Siena have free access to the entire monumental complex of the Duomo

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