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Duomo and Baptistery

Duomo and Baptistery

Duomo – Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore

Duomo and baptistery
During the 13th century, the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (St. Mary of the Flower) was built over top of a much earlier, smaller church, called Santa Reparata. The remains of the original church may be seen in the crypt.
Consecrated in 1436, it became one of Europe’s most majestic cathedrals, due mainly to Brunelleschi’s revolutionary dome, an engineering triumph over gravity. The Duomo is a symbol of Florence and a primary tourist attraction. The exterior is an elaborate combination of pink, white and green marble. The interior of the church, interestingly, is quite sparse in terms of decoration.

Antique map of Florence

Baptistery – Battistero

Perhaps the most loved of all Florence’s architecture is the beautiful octagonal Baptistery, referred to by Dante as his “Bel San Giovanni.” The Baptistery was dedicated to St. John the Baptist, the city’s patron saint. The Baptistery was constructed sometime between the 5th and 7th centuries over the remains of a Roman palace. For many centuries, Florentines were baptized there. The most noteable feature of the Baptistery are its bronze doors, which were made by Ghiberti from 1425-1452. (Interestingly, 1452 was the birth date of the Leonardo da Vinci.) The doors are commonly referred to as The Gate of Paradise.

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