May 2019 - Pisa Italy
The interior is overwhelming and lacks decoration. The octagonal font at the centre dates from 1246 and was made by Guido Bigarelli da Como. The bronze sculpture of St. John the Baptist at the centre of the font, is a work by Italo Griselli.
The pulpit was sculpted between 1255-1260 by Nicola Pisano, father of Giovanni, the artist who produced the pulpit in the Duomo. The scenes on the pulpit, and especially the classical form of the nude Hercules, show Nicola Pisano's qualities as the most important precursor of Italian Renaissance sculpture by reinstating antique representations: surveys of the Italian Renaissance often begin with the year 1260, the year that Nicola Pisano dated this pulpit.
Constructed on the same unstable sand as the tower and cathedral, the Baptistery leans 0.6 degrees toward the cathedral.
Originally the shape of the Baptistery, according to the project by Diotisalvi, was different. It was perhaps similar to the church of Holy Sepulchre in Pisa, with its pyramidal roof. After the death of the architect, Nicola Pisano continued the work, changing the style to the more modern Gothic one. Also an external roof was added giving the shape of a cupola. As a side effect of the two roofs, the pyramidal inner one and the domed external one, the interior is acoustically perfect, making of that space a resonating chamber.
Click here if the video doesn't work to listen to the amazing acoustics.