The Piazza del Duomo in Padua is the religious centre of the city. It is surrounded by some of the most important and beautiful buildings, including the Cathedral, the Baptistery and the Palazzo Vescovile.
Piazza del Duomo Padova
The religious buildings on the Piazza del Duomo take up the west and the south side of the square. The east side is taken up by the houses that lead towards the Ghetto. Other points of interest are the Arco Vallaresso and the Palazzo del Monte di Pietà.
The Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral is neither the biggest nor the most beautiful church in Padua. Once inside, the most striking aspect is the spaciousness and sobriety of its interior. The relics of the city’s four patron saints are found in this church.
The Baptistery is located to the right of the Cathedral. It is dedicated to John the Baptist. The main point of interest of the building is a fresco cycle by Giusto de’ Manabuoi, which occupies the entire interior of the building.
The Palazzo Vescovile (also called Palazzo del Vescovado) is the building to the left of the Duomo. Since the year 2000 it is the seat of the Museo Diocesano, where many artefacts from the Cathedral can be seen. The 12th century Biblioteca Capitolare is also inside this palazzo.
Palazzo del Monte di Pietà
The Palazzo del Monte di Pietà is one of the most striking buildings on the Piazza del Duomo. Its portal is decorated with statues representing the city’s patron saints. The present look is the result of a 17th century renovation.
Arco di Vallaresso
The Arco di Vallaresso is named after a Venetian governor who managed to contain and ultimately defeat an epidemic of the plague in the year 1630. Although initially unpopular, his measures proved succesfull and he is now one of Padova’s biggest heroes.
House of Petrarca
The Casa Canonicale di Francesco Petrarca is not located on the square itself, but in the street behind the Cathedral, which is called “Street Behind the Cathedral” (Via Dietro Duomo). Unfortunately this 12th century house is now the seat of the offices of the Museo Diocesano and is not open to the public.