Orvieto Cathedral - Palazzo Dei Papi

Palazzo Dei Papi

The Papal Palace attached to the right of the cathedral was originally begun in the mid-13th century when the popes moved to Orvieto to escape conflict in Rome. Pope Urban IV and Pope Martin IV both lived in the town and probably oversaw construction of the initial stages of this building. Pope Boniface VIII extended the building, but it was left unfinished following the papal move to Avignon in 1309. It remained a papal residence until 1550, when it was passed to the ownership of the cathedral, who after using it as a residence for some time redesigned it in 1896 as a museum, which it remains today. Inside is information and artifacts detailing the history of the cathedral and town. Disused works from the cathedral interior and pieces of original construction removed during later restoration can be seen in the museum, including paintings, reliquaries and the original plans for the cathedral’s construction.

The ground floor of the building also houses a museum dedicated to the Sicilian artist Emilio Greco who constructed the cathedral’s bronze doors in 1970. The museum contains a wide selection of his works, as well as preparatory papers and sculptures of other large pieces, including several which are housed at St Peter's Basilica in the Vatican.

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