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Tour to discover the main Churches in Florence, Palaces, Loggias, Sculptures
and masterpieces of the
florentine Renaissance but also the Bridges over the Arno, the historic city Gates and the medieval towers...
Photo and description of the Florence monuments
PIAZZA DEL DUOMO - DUOMO'S SQUARE
the Baptistery, the Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore, the Giotto's Campanile
The suggestive Piazza del Duomo and the adjacent Piazza San Giovanni, the religious heart of Florence, seduce us with their overwhelming monuments. The Baptistery of S. Giovanni, the Duomo (Cathedral of S. Maria del Fiore) and the Campanile of Giotto (bell-tower) reveal perfection and harmony in the geometry of their polychrome marbles.
DUOMO or CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA DEL FIORE - Florence
The task of building the Duomo, on the site of the old church S. Reparata, was entrusted to Arnolfo di Cambio, in the year 1296. Following the death of Arnolfo (1302), Giotto was appointed to the supervise building work but he devoted himself mainly to the project of the Campanile till 1337 when he died. Later in 1357 Francesco Talenti and Giovanni di Lapo Ghini continued work on the Duomo of Florence enlarging the original Arnolfo's design. Thus the construction of the Cupola was really a problem due to such huge dimensions, which was solved by the genius of a florentine architect, Filippo Brunelleschi. In 1420 he started building the dome, on a revolutionary architectural scheme, and completed the work after sixteen years, in 1436 when the Cathedral of Florence was consecrated and named Santa Maria del Fiore. The construction of the Duomo continued with the lantern over the dome, and then in the course of the XV and XVI centuries with the marble decorations, while the present facade (after the demolition of the original Arnolfo's one) was built at the end of the XIX century.
GIOTTO's CAMPANILE - Florence
The Giotto Campanile (bell-tower) is an interesting example of the gothic architecture in Italy. It's an imposing marble tower on square plan closed by octagonal pilasters at the corners, with the structure lightened by elegant decorations, airy gothic window, trefoil. Build next to the Florence Duomo, on the original design by Giotto, was begun in 1334 by the same artist who worked on the base section and then continued by his successor, Andrea Pisano, who maintained the original structure in the two storeys above and completed it with bas-relief panels. The building was completed by Francesco Talenti in 1359 with the upper storeys, the gothic windows and the terrace. The iconographic cycle modelled by Pisano in the first band represents Stories of the Life of the Man, starting from Creation, and symbols of the Arts, the Virtues, the Planets, the Liberal Arts. In the upper bands the gothic niches houses statues and relief by eminent artists, Pisano himself, Donatello (the splendid Abakuk), Luca della Robbia, Nanni di Bartolo.
BAPTISTERY - Florence
The Baptistery, dedicated to St. John the Baptist patron saint of Florence, was construcetd in the course of the XI-XIII centuries on a site of a Roman-age edifice, domus. The building has an octagonal plane, which simbolizes the religious ritual of baptism, and is faced in polychrome marbles the geometrical arrangement of which is inspired by the classicRoman antiquity. The Baptistery is enriched with three splendid bronze doors, the first one, the South Door, was made by Andrea Pisano in 1330-1336, the other two are the work of Lorenzo Ghiberti, the North Door 1403-14024, and the famous East Door described by Michelangelo as the Gate of Paradise 1425-1452.
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