fbpx

Siena. From the Palio to the mysterious magic square

Wednesday, 21 September 2022 10:23

Siena, home to the annual Palio and to the mysterious magic square, is also the home of great architects and painters of the past, and has one of the most beautiful and best preserved European historical centres. The monumental and artistic heritage of the city is priceless and in 1995 UNESCO listed the historic centre as a World Heritage Site.

A beautiful trapezoid square

One of the symbols of Siena is undoubtedly the Piazza del Campo, considered one of the most beautiful squares in Italy with its characteristic trapezoidal shape. Historically financial and commercial activities were concentrated halfway along Via Francigena while Piazza del Campo was a marketplace, but the square is most famous for the Palio horse race, held heretwice a year  on 2 July and 16 August, with the  different districts of Siena competing.

siena.png
Architectural masterpieces

All around the square there are monumental buildings including the soaring Torre del Mangia and the Palazzo Pubblico. This is one of the most elegant expressions of Italian Gothic civil architecture and has rooms embellished with medieval masterpieces by Simone Martini and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. The Cathedral is one of the most significant churches built in Italian Roman-Gothic style and is recognizable for its characteristic black and white marble bands. It is on a Latin cross shape with three naves and three portals, and three spires in pure Florentine Gothic style grace the facade.

A small stone with a cryptic message

On a small stone embedded in the external wall of the Cathedral there is an engraving. This is the so-called magic square and bears it the words SATOR, AREPO, TENET, OPERA, ROTAS. A sentence that remains identical when read from left to right or vice versa. This curious magic square is visible in many archaeological finds scattered throughout Europe, but the symbolic meaning is still unknown today.

Image

Latest Video

La Collina dei Ciliegi
Video

La Collina dei Ciliegi

The dreams of Massimo Gianolli and his family: from Milan to…

120
La Collina dei Ciliegi
Video

La Collina dei Ciliegi

The dreams of Massimo Gianolli and his family: from Milan to…

120

- Our Partners -

- Under the patronage of the Italian Tourist Board -

Image
© 2021 Travel Open Day Srl | All Rights Reserved. - P.IVA IT13119651001