The Florence Cathedral (otherwise known as Il Duomo) is the main church in Florence, Italy. Our hotel was just off the main square which houses this beauty. Architecture on this church began in 1296 and originally the architectural style (like Il Duomo in Milan) was gothic. However, the style evolved and ultimately it transcended (as did most things in Florence) to start the Renaissance Architectural style.
The dome on top of this church is a modern marvel – we were fortunate to be able to climb to the top of it – and something that just must be viewed if in Florence. Not only is it beautifully decorated with frightening symbolism from ‘The Last Judgement’ but the way in which it was constructed was something that rivals the Pantheon in Rome. Here is a brief synopsis of the history – much more on the web if you want to learn more though…The church was almost nearly built by the start of the 15th century (1400) but the Dome had still not been added or even designed at this point (talk about putting the cart before the horse) but the designers wanted the dome to be self supporting and it would be higher and wider than any dome ever built to this point. Buttresses typically supported large structures like this but for whatever reason they were outlawed in Florence and thus many architects were trying to figure out how to solve this problem. Ultimately, an architect named Brunelleschi figured it out – in part by modeling it after the pantheon – and the dome was completed in 1469. However, the church still had another four hundred years before it was finally complete. Work on the outside facade ended in 1887. Talk about a long-term project – nearly 600 years!
Photo of the Day – Florence Cathedral
It is very difficult to get a shot of the Florence Cathedral because the Baptistry (St. John’s Baptistry) where many famous renaissance figures were baptized – such as Dante – is sitting directly at my back where I set up to take this shot. Florence is such an amazing city and I feel so lucky to have gone there – hopefully, one day I’ll have the chance to go back but if not I’ll always have some very found memories and pictures to remind me of the beauty.