Discovering the mysteries of Piacenza Cathedral with ascent to the dome

The mysteries of Piacenza Cathedral: new layout, ascent to Guercino's dome, and an exhibition on the precious illuminated manuscripts.

Inaugurated on Saturday, April 7 in Piacenza, the project"The Mysteries of the Cathedral. Wonders in the Labyrinth of Knowledge," which is part of theEuropean Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 events: visitors will see a new layout of the Cathedral Museum and can climb up to the dome of Piacenza’s cathedral.

The tour will begin with a video that tells the story of Piacenza’s bishopric complex from the 4th century to the construction of today’s cathedral.

This will be followed by the hall of sculptures, the hall of silverware and the hall of wooden furnishings, which will lead to the small picture gallery with precious altarpieces, such as Elisabetta Sirani’s The Ten Thousand Crucified Martyrs, Giovanni Battista Tagliasacchi’s Madonna of the Hush, Robert De Longe’s Death of St. Francis Xavier, and Guido Reni ’s St. Jerome and the Angel in dialogue with an Achrome by Piero Manzoni from the MCM Mazzolini collection.

An interview with Valerio Massimo Manfredi will serve as an introduction to the sections of the exhibition that will let the public discover, from April 7 to July 7, 2018, some of the most precious medieval illuminated codices, including the Book of the Master or the Psalter of Angilberga and many ancient books that belong to the archival heritage of Piacenza. The former is the most significant volume in the Cathedral’s archives and contains notions of astronomy and astrology, customs and traditions of the population related to lunar cycles and work in the fields; it also illustrates with miniatures and melodic formulas the first medieval liturgical plays.

Also present is an experience room, the Time Machine, produced by Gionata Xerra, in which visitors will embark on a journey through the Middle Ages, in a virtual library from which the tale of the Codex comes to life.

Finally, on the dome they will admire up close Guercino ’s frescoes of prophets and episodes from the childhood of Jesus, the Sibyls and the two prophets David and Isaiah on the two segments of the dome created by Morazzone.

The project of The Mysteries of the Cathedral is promoted by the Diocese of Piacenza-Bobbio, in collaboration with the Piacenza and Vigevano Foundation, the Municipality of Piacenza and the State Archives of Piacenza, with support from the Emilia-Romagna Region, Crédit Agricole Cariparma and the Chamber of Commerce of Piacenza.

For info:

Hours: April 7 to July 7, 2018. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last entrance at 6 p.m., last ascent in the dome at 7 p.m.); Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. (last entrance at 9 p.m., last ascent in the dome at 10 p.m.); Sundays from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. (last entrance at 6 p.m., last ascent in the dome at 7 p.m.). Closed Mondays.
A time slot reservation is required for the visit, which consists of a free part and a part with mandatory accompaniment.

Tickets: Full 10 euros (museum and codex exhibition), 15 euros (museum, codex exhibition and ascent to the dome); reduced 8 euros (museum and codex exhibition), 12 euros (museum, codex exhibition and ascent to the dome).
Tickets can also be purchased online from

Image: transept and presbytery, Piacenza, Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta, ©Marco Stucchi

Discovering the mysteries of Piacenza Cathedral with ascent to the dome
Discovering the mysteries of Piacenza Cathedral with ascent to the dome

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