Santa Maria della Scala

The history

The Complesso Monumentale Santa Maria della Scala, erected in front of the cathedral in the 12th century, originated as a medieval hospital, fulfilling multiple functions over the centuries related to the reception of travellers and pilgrims, the sick and needy, and children abandoned to the hospital family. Since the 1990s, the Complex has been transformed into an exhibition-museum space, housing civic and state collections, where it is possible to retrace a thousand-year architectural, artistic, social, political and economic history. Since 2008, the cultural proposal has also been extended to the promotion of contemporary art through group and solo exhibitions of internationally renowned artists.

The name ‘della Scala’ dates back to the 12th century and recalls the location of the Monumental complex in front of the steps of the main church. Later, a legend developed according to which the hospital was founded following a vision of Blessed Sorore’s mother, in which a miraculous staircase welcomed abandoned children into paradise.

The collection

  • National Archeologic Museum (Clay urns; Urn Bichi Ruspoli)
  • Siena. Story of the city from its origins to the Middle Ages (chapel of San Girolamo)
  • The Gaia Source (font of Tito Sarrocchi (1824-1900); monument by the architect Giuseppe Partini (1842-1895); Sapienza, 1414-1418, Jacopo della Quercia)
  • Piccolomini Spannocchi Collection (Alrecht Duerer (1471-1528); Sodoma (1477-1549); Albrecht Altdorfer (1480-1538); Lorenzo Lotto (1480-1556); Correggio (1489-1534); Tintoretto (1518-1594); Giovan Battista Moroni (1520-1578); Marco Pino (1525-1587); Sofonisba Anguissola (1532-1625); Cristofano Rustici (1552-1641); Rubens (1577-1640); Ludovico Dondi (attivo tra il 1585 e il 1614); Giuseppe Nicola Nasini (1657-1736))
  • Children’s Art Museum (Offer based on themed events and related educational activities)
  • Pilgrim (Frescoes, Domenico di Bartolo (1400/1404-1444/1447); Investiture of the Rector of the hospital, 1442, Priamo della Quercia (1400-1467))
  • Sagrestia vecchia (Madonna of the Mantle, 1444, Domenico di Bartolo (1400/1404 – 1444/1447); Arliquiera, 1445-1449, Lorenzo di Pietro said Vecchietta (1410-1480))

Photo: Santa Maria della Scala, Siena, Credits: Sailko

Opening hours:

15 March to 15 October, daily (except Thursdays): 10 am to 7 pm. Thursdays from 10 am to 10 pm.

From 26 December to 6 January, daily from 10 am to 7 pm.

From 16 October to 14 March, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm; Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 7 pm.

Closing time:

Tuesdays from 16 October; 14 March; 25 December.

Average visit time:

1-2 hours

Books and guides


Related museums

Museo Civico di Siena

From €6,00

Il Museo Civico di Siena è ospitato al primo piano del Palazzo Pubblico in Piazza del Campo. Il Palazzo, ancora utilizzato per la sua funzione originale, contiene gli uffici e le sale del consiglio comunale. Dall’entrata principale, si accede al Cortile del Podestà, dove si trova l’ingresso al museo e alla Torre del Mangia, dalla quale si può ammirare una splendida vista dopo aver salito più di 400 scalini.

Average visit time:

1-2 hours

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