Piazza Duomo - 43121 - Parma (PR)
Phone: +39 0521208699
Open every day by reservation for groups (12 – 15 people) from 10.00 to 6.00pm*. (* last admission 15 minutes before).
Reservations can be made on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10.00am to 1.00pm by calling 0521/235886.
Service in Baptistery from Easter to November 1; on the first Sunday and third Saturday of every month possibility of baptisms.
During the services access to the Baptistery is not allowed. Please contact them in advance.
the ticket office is inside the Diocesan Museum, placed in front of the Baptistery.
The ticket includes the entrance to the Diocesan museum and to the exposition Antelami in Parma – the work of man, the time of the Earth: Full price € 10,00; free entrance for under 12 years and disabled people.
Built between 1196 ad 1307, the pink marble Baptistery is a clear example of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art in Italy.
This octagonal baptistery built of Verona marble with four tiers of open loggias topped by a row of blind arches and crowning pinnacles, is certainly the most outstanding example of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic art in Italy.
Begun in 1196 by the same Lombard builders working on the cathedral, it was completed between 1302 and 1307. Benedetto Antelami supervised its construction and executed almost all the decorative sculptures, typical of the medieval iconography. The lowest part of the baptistery is encircled by a zoophorus with bas-relief sculptures of animals, fabulous beasts, creatures from Hell, sea monsters, centaurs, mermaids, unicorns and Zodiac signs.
The north door or Portale della Vergine is decorated with scenes of the Adoration of the Magi and the Annunciation, the twelve prophets, the Tree of Jacob on the right, the Tree of Jesse on the left and the Tree of life on the inside. The west door or Portale del Giudizio has a figure of the Redeemer in the lunette. The south door is known as the Portale della Vita or Door of Life and the scene in its lunette shows a man eating honey in a tree with two rodents and a dragon at the base while on the sides are the chariots of Sun and Moon.
In the interior, a sixteen-sided polygon, are the notable sculptures by Benedetto Antelami depicting the Months, the Seasons and the Signs of Zodiac. Above the altar, in the semi-dome, is a Christ in Glory surrounded by the symbols of the four evangelists and two angels.