Until a few years ago the cathedral's treasures had been displayed in the spaces next to the Duomo which were unsuited to house such a remarkable collection and so a worthier home was found in the old Bishop's palace in these rooms liturgical cloths, gold objects and furnishings are displayed alongside the surviving architecture and the archeological artifacts that document the ancient Roman city of Pistoia.
The display cases used to exhibit the objects allow not only their good conservation but also the chance to continue to use these pieces for special religious occasions.
The entrance to the museum leads the visitor into the ancient tower where a Roman funerary urn and several fragments of paving, dating from the fifth or sixth centuries, prove the existence here, even in High Medieval times, of a building for worship.
Continuing on into the new sacristy built in the late fourteenth century and originally used as a room for hearings - we find a Crucifixion scene painted by Giovanni Cristiani on the western wall.
Pieces of particularly interesting fourteenth century gold work are also shown here, for example the reliquary of San Zeno, the chance and cross of Sant'Atto.
From the new sacristy we move cm to the old one which once housed the treasure of San Jacopo, famous not only for its richness but also for Dante's reference to its theft by Vanni Fucci. Among the precious gifts offered to the city's patron saint there is the reliquary, a famous masterpiece by Lorenzo Ghiberti and his workshop.
On the second floor of the building, we find the rooms used to exhibit liturgical objects. In the third room, the seat of the bishop's chancellery, a fire broke out in 1641, destroying most of the objects. Passing through the Duomo's gallery where the bishop could attend religious services without going down into the cathedral, we come to the chapel of San Niccolò.
This unusual construction type is decorated with a rare fresco cycle of Stories of Saint Nicholas as well as with a Crucifixion from the end of the thirteenth century.
Precious furnishings are displayed in the other rooms of the second floor and among these there Is the reliquary of Saint Bartholomew that Cardinal Giulio Rospigliosi commissioned for the relics donated to Pistoia by Pope Alessandro VII.
Finally the itinerary brings us back to the lower floor which from the fourteenth century on, used to house merchants' shops.
Organized according to the latest museum standards, the Cathedral Museum is a place to visit to deepen one's knowledge of the city's remarkable historical and artistic heritage.
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 10:00-13:00/15:00-17:00
Second Sunday of the month: 15:00-17:00
For further informations:
Tel: +39 057321622
Comune di Pistoia