Cathedral of Prato

The Cathedral of St. Stephen

The parish was probably founded in the 5th century, the following extension and renovation, started around the half of the 12th century, transformed the original modest building into one of the most remarkable romanesque-gothic churces of Tuscany.
The beautiful romanesque cloister, partially modified in the 15th century, dates back to the 12th century as well.

The exterior of the Duomo

The bell tower, probably realized on the project of Guidetto da Como at the start of the 13th century, was completed with the three-lancet windowed cell in 1356-57. In 1386, simultaneously with the building of the Cappella della Sacra Cintola, the actual late-gothic facade by Lorenzo di Filippo was started, with a base in alberese marble and alternating belts of alberese and green serpentinite marble, which will be completed only by the half of the following century, a time to which the most interesting architectural partitions of the exterior date back as well: the great lunette portal decorated by a glazed terracotta by Andrea della Robbia, and the external pulpit by Donatello. The original ledge is currently preserved at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

Further informations: exterior of the Duomo

The interior of the Duomo

In spite of the numerous renovations that followed each other through the centuries, the building has a certain stylistic unity: the transept (1317-1368), credited to Giovanni Pisano, is well in line with the interior and its 13th century structure resembling a latin cross with an apsis at the end of the nave and two aisles (each divided by six arches), while the chalice pulpit (15th century) by Mino da Fiesole and Antonio Rossellino recalls the one by Donatello.
Among the most beautiful and interesting works of art preserved in the Duomo figure famous cycles of frescos: the Hystories of St. Stephen and John the Baptist (among which Herod’s Banquet with the Dancing Salome is outstanding) by the hand of Filippo Lippi and his retinue (1452-1465), which decorate the Cappella Maggiore.
More chapels are present in the transept, such as the Vinaccesi (decorated by Alessandro Franchi), Manassei (with frescos by a follower of Agnolo Gaddi), Inghirami ones and the important Cappella dell’Assunta, with its Histories of the Virgin and St. Stephen, jointly credited to Paolo Uccello (1397-1475) and Andrea di Giusto. The splendid Histories of the Virgin and the Holy Belt (1392-95), made by Agnolo Gaddi and his workshop are frescoed in the Cappella della Sacra Cintola, located in the first bay of the left aisle.

Further informations: chapels in the Cathedral

There are lavish sculptures also worth of attention, such as the Tabernacle of the Virgin by the Olive Tree (1480), by the Giuliano, Giovanni and Benedetto da Maiano brothers, decorated by a base relief of the Pietà, base upon which the terracotta Virgin with the Baby is seated, by Benedetto da Maiano. In the chapel of the Holy Belt, on the altar, we may find the Virgin with the Baby by Giovanni Pisano, while on the greater altar of the Cathedral one can admire the elegant bronze Crucifix (1653) by Ferdinando Tacca.

The familiar bichrome look from the alternating bands of alberese and serpentinite in the columns and arches is dominating, but the 16th century floor, made of hexagons and rhombi, adds to the white and green the red from the Monsummano marble.
The vast, luminous transept, covered by five extremely high ogived groin vaults, recalls in its structural section the bichrome bands motif, lightening the four towering octagonal lesenes, which supports the great ogival arch that divide the vaults of the apsis chapels. The chancel is furnished by three important works of the american minimalist Robert Morris: the greater altar (2000), the cathedra with a bronze seatback and Carrara marble seating and the bronze ambon (2001).

There is also a balcony or internal pulpit (1435-38), on the internal side of the facade wall, by the design of Maso di Bartolomeo, with a ledge decorated by bronze rose windows and the coat of arms of Prato, and preserves a painting by Ridolfo Ghirlandaio of The Assumed in Heaven gives the Holy Belt to St. Thomas against its back.

Further informations

Duomo di Prato (esterno)
Campanile Duomo di Prato
Pulpito di Donatello e Michelozzo
Pulpito di Antonio Rossellino e Mino da Fiesole
Duomo di Prato (interno)

Addresses and contacts

Piazza Duomo
- 59100
Phone: 0574 26234 - 0574 24112 ( tourist information center)
Opening time Cathedral: Monday - Friday 7.30 a.m. - 7.00 p.m.; Saturday - Sunday 7.30 a.m. - 12.00 Cappella Maggiore (Filippo Lippi's frescos): Monday - Saturday 10.00 a.m. - 1.00 p.m.; 2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. Sunday 2.00 p.m. - 5.00 p.m. Closed on Tuesday.


Ingresso alla cattedrale gratuito.

Ingresso alla Cappella Maggiore:

intero: 5.00 €
ridotto: 4.00 € over 65, bambini dai 7 ai 14 anni, gruppi superiori alle 10 persone; 3.00 € scuole ciclo dell'obbligo; 2.00 € gruppi di parrocchie e catechismo
ingresso gratuito: bambini fino a 6 anni, disabili e loro accompagnatori; guide turistiche, accompagnatori di gruppi (2 per gruppo massimo di 25 persone), soci ICOM, giornalisti accreditati

Pratomusei Card individuale: €16,00; Family card €28,00 (consente di visitare Muso del Tessuto, Museo di Palazzo Pretorio e Museo dell'Opera del Duomo) validità tre giorni dall'emissione.

Il biglietto include la visita al Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.

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Data ultima revisione dei contenuti della pagina: luned 16 marzo 2020

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