The Story of Lucca

By Janet Ross; Nelly Erischen | Go to book overview

CHAPTER VII
The Duomo and its History

"Laudate Dominum de terra dracones et omnes abissi; bestiæ et universa pecore, serpentes et volucres pennatæ."

PSALM cxlvii., Vulgate.

THE Duomo of Lucca has always suffered from comparison with that of Pisa. In situation, at least, it must be admitted that Pisa has the advantage. Its cathedral, throned in the centre of an ample space and surrounded by magnificent satellites, forms part of a noble composition that strikes the eye from afar. The Duomo of Lucca is hidden in the heart of the city. All that there is to guide one to it is a single, austere- looking tower that rises proudly above the encircling trees. Not until the actual piazza is reached, in which it stands, does the great church betray its presence. Then the suddenness of the revelation startles and arrests. The western face is directly opposite to us, its low and squat outline only redeemed from meanness by the soaring of the embattled tower. Never very inspiring, the basilica façade suffers in this case from being jammed up against the campanile so vehemently th⁐t it is lopsided. This tower forms the south-east angle of the piazza, and the houses on the one side cling to it with the same limpet-like persistency as does the Duomo on the other. So there is a lack of symmetry where symmetry is necessary, and a flash of disappointment is the result. But following hard upon it is a sense of sheer enjoyment born of the tangle of

-121-

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The Story of Lucca
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Chapter II 25
  • Chapter III 51
  • Chapter V 92
  • Chapter VI - A First Impression of Lucca 105
  • Chapter VII - The Duomo and Its History 121
  • Chapter VII - The Interior of the Duomo and Its Monuments 151
  • Chapter IX - The Churches, Walls, and Towers Of Lucca 189
  • Chapter X - Pictures, Palaces, and Books 247
  • Chapter XI - Beyond the Walls of Lucca 290
  • Chapter XII - The Bagni Di Lucca 328
  • Index 355
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