When did Pisa build their baptistery?
How did Pisa pay for their baptistery?
Pisa’s traders bought cotton and silk, paper and sugar, medicine and steel, and they carried them back to Europe. In Europe, Pisa sold all those things to people further north. Pisa’s traders bought wool cloth, furs, leather, and silver and sold them to the Islamic world. Pisa got rich from all this trade – rich enough to build big stone buildings. They wanted to show the world how rich they were.
It’s built in two different styles
Because Pisa started to build their baptistery in the Romanesque style, the lower levels have round arches. But by the time they finished building the upper part, architects were changing over to the Gothic style. So they made the upper windows with the new fashionable pointed arches.
What is the Pisa baptistery made of?
Why does Pisa’s baptistery have stripes?
Compare this baptistery to the baptistery in Florence, very close by. The people of Florence built their baptistery just a little earlier. Probably Pisa’s architect wanted to build something a lot like what Florence had. But Florence’s baptistery may have gotten its ideas from even earlier buildings. Some of those buildings were Christian, like Charlemagne’s chapel at Aachen. Others were Islamic, like the great mosque at Cordoba, or the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.