Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1997
Size of heritage: 1.20 ha
- Buffer zone: 1.10 ha
The magnificent 12th-century cathedral at Modena, the work of two great artists (Lanfranco and Wiligelmus), is a supreme example of early Romanesque art. With its piazza and soaring tower, it testifies to the faith of its builders and the power of the Canossa dynasty who commissioned it.
Location on Map
Show bigger map on Openstreetmap
The Cathedral, Torre Civica, and Piazza Grande in Modena, Italy, are collectively recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located in the City and Province of Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna Region, this site holds immense historical and cultural significance. The complex comprises the Modena Cathedral, the Ghirlandina Tower, and the Piazza Grande, forming a harmonious ensemble that showcases the architectural and artistic achievements of the Romanesque period.
The construction of the Modena Cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, began in 1099 and was completed in 1184. The cathedral's design reflects the Romanesque style, characterized by its robustness and simplicity. The façade features intricate reliefs and sculptures, including the famous "The Last Judgment" by Wiligelmus, which depicts scenes from the Bible.
The Ghirlandina Tower, standing adjacent to the cathedral, was built between 1179 and 1319. Its name, meaning "garlanded," refers to the decorative frieze that adorns the top of the tower. With its impressive height of 86 meters, the Ghirlandina Tower dominates the Modena skyline and serves as a symbol of the city's prosperity and power during the Middle Ages.
The Piazza Grande, the main square of Modena, has been the heart of the city's social and economic life since the Middle Ages. Surrounded by historic buildings, it provides a picturesque setting for various cultural events and gatherings. The square's layout and architecture reflect the medieval urban planning principles, with its irregular shape and narrow streets leading to it.
The Cathedral, Torre Civica, and Piazza Grande in Modena have been meticulously preserved and restored over the years, ensuring their continued grandeur and historical significance. The Modena Cathedral remains an active place of worship, attracting visitors from around the world who come to admire its architectural beauty and religious art. The interior of the cathedral houses numerous precious artworks, including the crypt with the relics of Saint Geminianus, the patron saint of Modena.
The Ghirlandina Tower is accessible to the public, offering panoramic views of the city and its surroundings from its top. Climbing the tower's 200 steps rewards visitors with breathtaking vistas and a closer look at the intricate details of its construction.
The Piazza Grande continues to be a vibrant hub of activity, hosting cultural events, markets, and festivals throughout the year. Its historic buildings, such as the Palazzo Comunale and the Palazzo dei Musei, house important institutions and museums that showcase Modena's rich heritage.
The UNESCO World Heritage designation has brought increased recognition and protection to the Cathedral, Torre Civica, and Piazza Grande. Efforts are continuously made to preserve and maintain these architectural treasures, ensuring that future generations can appreciate their historical, cultural, and artistic value.
The Cathedral, Torre Civica, and Piazza Grande in Modena, Italy, stand as a testament to the architectural and artistic achievements of the Romanesque period. This UNESCO World Heritage site attracts visitors with its grandeur, historical significance, and cultural vibrancy. The Modena Cathedral, Ghirlandina Tower, and Piazza Grande continue to be cherished and preserved, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the rich history and beauty of this remarkable ensemble.
Hotels and places to stay
Best Western Premier Milano Palace
Hotel Cervetta 5
Best Western Hotel Liberta
Ostello San Filippo Neri
Videos from the area
Videos provided by Youtube are under the copyright of their owners.
Large airport - 19 mi (32 km) Parma Airport
Medium airport - 33 mi (54 km) Verona / Villafranca Airport
Large airport - 52 mi (84 km) Firenze / Peretola Airport
Medium airport - 59 mi (96 km) Lucca / Tassignano Airport
Small airport - 59 mi (96 km) Massa Cinquale Airport
Small airport - 60 mi (97 km) Brescia / Montichiari Airport
Medium airport - 61 mi (99 km) Pisa / San Giusto - Galileo Galilei International Airport
Large airport - 72 mi (116 km) Bergamo / Orio Al Serio Airport
Large airport - 93 mi (150 km) Treviso / Sant'Angelo Airport
Large airport - 93 mi (150 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
- Carpi Centro
- Castelfranco Emilia
- Castelnuovo Rangone
- Castelvetro di Modena
- Marano sul Panaro
- Rio Saliceto
- San Cesario sul Panaro
- San Martino in Rio
- San Prospero
- Sant'Agata Bolognese
- Savignano sul Panaro
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.
- Casa Cavazzuti
- Casa Gazzotti
- Casa Pisa
- Casa Zuccoli
- Case Camillo
- Case Nuove
- Caseificio Pini
- Chiesa di San Martino di Mugnano
- Fornace Benassati
- I Tre Olmi
- La Bottega
- La Madonnina
- Le Casette
- Ponte della Perlina
- San Cataldo
- Santa Maria di Mugnano
- Villa Igea
- Villa Pignatti
- Villa Rovina