Cattedrale di San Lorenzo

sights / Religious

Cattedrale di San Lorenzo information

Perugia , Italy
Piazza IV Novembre
Opening hours
7.30am-noon & 4-6.30pm
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Although a church has been here since the 900s, the version you see at the northern end of Piazza IV Novembre was begun in 1345 from designs created by Fra Bevignate. Building of the cathedral continued until 1587, although the main facade was never completed. Inside you'll find dramatic late Gothic architecture, an altarpiece by Signorelli and sculptures by Duccio.

The steps in front of the facade are where seemingly all of Perugia congregates; they overlook the piazza's centrepiece: the delicate pink-and-white marble Fontana Maggiore (Great Fountain). Another of Fra Bevignate's designs, the fountain was completed in 1278 by famous sculptors Nicola and Giovanni Pisano. Bas-relief statues grace the polygonal basin, representing scenes from the Old Testament, the founding of Rome, the seven 'liberal arts', the signs of the zodiac, and a griffin and lion. The griffin is the symbol of Perugia and the lion that of the Guelphs, the Middle Ages faction that favoured rule by the papacy over rule by the Holy Roman Empire.