Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Cielo e San Geminiano
The construction of the cathedral began starting from 'XI century, in full contentions between the Empire and the papacy, a period marked by personalities such as Matilda of Canossa and Pope Gregory VII.
The architect was Lanfranco, according to the "Relatio de innovatione ecclesie Sancti Geminiani" kept in the Modena 'archivio Capitolare'.
Joined by the architect Lanfranco the "masters comancini" and later "masters of Campione", real professionals of the art of the Romanesque decoration. To Lanfranco was then replaced Wiligelmo, as supported by the plaque between Elijah and Enoch.
For the construction of the marble from a nearby Roman necropolis they are re-used it: it appear coming from this place the beautiful lions of the main portal.
Close to "scholars" illustrations such as those of Wiligelmo (expulsion from Paradise) there is much of medieval learning, with its symbols and its certainties: ichthyophagous, mermaids with two tails, demons, unicorns, smascella Samson the lion, griffins ...
Bicaudas sirens are present in the capitals of the crypt inside the dome and on the metopes on the side of the Gate of the Fish. The metopes on this side of the cathedral are visible only from the courtyard of the Diocesan Museum. The museum houses in it, among other things, the originals of the metopes. Another two-tailed mermaid makes a fine show if the bell tower, the 'Ghirlandina'.