Battistero di Pisa (Baptistery of Pisa) – or Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistery of St. John) is an impressive cylindrical, domed structure with a marble facade and a delicately adorned entrance. Save for the bright stained-glass windows, its interiors are relatively austere. The round shaped Baptistery of Pisa welcomes visitors who enter Piazza dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles). This marble giant is in fact the largest baptistery in Italy standing at 55 meters and with a circumference of more than 100 meters. To put this into perspective it would take at least 50 people to embrace it.
The Baptistery was designed by Diotisalvi. His name is carved on one of the pillars inside, reading “Diotosalvia magister”. It was constructed between the years 1152-1363 and surrounding this imposing and impressively structured baptistery are the famous buildings of Pisa, namely; the Tower of Pisa, and Duomo di Pisa (Cathedral of Pisa). The baptistery can be seen from these two places and is an impressive sight to behold.
The rounded arches of the lower register have been designed in the Romanesque style, while pointed arches have been constructed in the upper registers, giving it a more Gothic look. These arches give the baptistery the elegance it needs to overcome that imposing look. This combination of Romanesque and Gothic style has given the baptistery certain distinct features which set it apart from others.