The Santa Maria della Scala Museum Complex is the third artistic center of the city, along with Palazzo Pubblico and the Cathedral, that now you can visit through the new cultural offer "In space and in time": four permanent 3d video installations with multilingual audio, integrated with the new video tutorials available free of charge.
Built over a thousand years ago, it was one of the first examples of hospitalization and hospital, born along Via Francigena, for the reception of pilgrims and travellers and to support abandoned children. It was a real hospital until the eighties of the twentieth century, and today it’s at the centre of a great cultural project: the restoration and recovery of the “Spedale Grande” (Great Hospital) and its transformation into a cultural centre.
Today it is possible to visit the precious and vast artistic heritage (the Pellegrinaio, the Cappella del Manto, the Sagrestia Vecchia, the Cappella della Madonna, the Chiesa della Santissima Annunziata, the oratories of Santa Caterina della Notte and Santa Maria sotto le Volte) and numerous museum itineraries: the Art Museum for Children, the Centre for Contemporary Art / Contemporary SMS; the Library e Photo library of Art by Giuliano Briganti, the Fonte Gaia by Jacopo della Quercia which used to be in Piazza del Campo, the relics and the gold of the Treasure of the Santa Maria della Scala, the Racconto della città (Tale of the city) about the origins of Siena until the Middle Ages.
The basements host the Archaeological Museum in a “labyrinth” of halls and tunnels carved in tuff. There is also a part intended to host temporary exhibitions and conferences.
With its two hundred thousand cubic metres, an uninterrupted history of more than a thousand years of hospitality and assistance, the Santa Maria della Scala enjoys a strategic position in the extraordinary urban layout, as it is located right in front of the Cathedral.
For its size, its history, its network of itineraries and museums, for its character of “city within a city”, the Santa Maria della Scala offers all the keys for understanding the history of the Sienese community, offering visitors a cultural experience that goes well beyond a classic visit to a museum.