This grandiose masterpiece of Romanesque - Pisa Style was started in the year 1063 by the great architect Buschetto. It is therefore, the first work undertaken in the spot that became later the "Piazza dei Miracoli". It was possible because of the enormous wealth amassed by the powerful Sea Republic which at that time Pisa was, particularly after a successful excursion on Palermo. The Cathedral was consecrated in the year 1118, even though still incomplete, by Pope Gelasio II. It was terminated in the 13th century, with the erection of the façade, unchanged up to today, by Rainaldo.
The Cathedral, designed in Latin-Cruciform, basically has a romanesque architectural style, but at the same time interprets and absorbs elements of various styles, forming thus a unique style which has something of sublime. The Cathedral was adorned through the years with numerous works of art. Giovanni Pisano is certainly the artist who excels in these works, especially because he has given us the famous, extremely rich and ingenious Pergamo (Pulpit).
For a brief idea of its dimensions, the Cathedral is about one hundred meters long and 54 meters high. The façade is 35,40 mts wide. It is 34,20 mts high, hence both imposing and of an ingenious and grandiose conception. The façade of The Cathedral is articulated in five orders of arches, the inferior of which has seven blind arches; the two lateral gates, and one central gate, are separated by columns and pilasters.
In the year 1595 a furious fire broke out and destroyed these gates (as well as the ceiling and other works inside) hence the gates of today are not the original ones of Bonanno, but those made by the artists of the school of Giambologna, i. e. Francavilla, Mocchi, Tacca.