One of the most flourishing and developing cities in ancient times was Florence. It was the center of medieval European commerce and finance. Birthplace of the Renaissance and the standard Italian language, home of Michelangelo’s “David”, the city of the Medicis, the “Ponte Vecchio” and the capital of Tuscany. The centerpiece of this historically valuable city is another treasure; the whole of the “Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore”.
Showcased in the “Piazza del Duomo” or Cathedral Square, the architectural complex consists of the Baptistery of “San Giovanni”, the “Campanile” of Giotto and the Cathedral of “Santa Maria del Fiore” with its impressive octagonal dome. These structures, together, are part of UNESCO’s world heritage. The complex is completed with a fourth element; its museum located behind the Cathedral.
Many believe that the “Duomo di Firenze” refers to the Dome; However, Duomo is the Italian word that means “Cathedral.” Therefore, one visits the Dome of the “Duomo”.
The Baptistery of San John is located in both, “Piazza del Duomo” and “Piazza San Giovanni”. Considered a minor basilica, the Baptistery is octagonal in shape. Its bronze doors with relief sculptures are considered a symbol of the Renaissance. The Baptistery has three sets of doors, one of which is known as the “Gates of Paradise.” Built between the eleventh and twelfth centuries with a Florentine Romanesque style.
The “Campanile” or Bell Tower of Giotto is an independent structure near the cathedral built in the 14th century following a Gothic style. It rises to an approximate height of 85 meters and consists of five sections. The bell tower has eight bells, the most recent was founded in 1957.
The Cathedral of “Santa María de la Flor” was completed at the beginning of the 15th century. It was built on the site of the second cathedral of the city dedicated to “Santa Reparata”. The first cathedral, the Basilica of San Lorenzo, still exists a few blocks away. The dome was the first octagonal dome that was built without a temporary wooden support frame as if it were built in the air. The dome of the “Duomo” was completed in 1436 and the cathedral was consecrated later that year.
However, work on the exterior decoration and the facade of the cathedral continued well into the 19th century. The complete structure makes the “Duomo of Firenze” one of the 20 main churches in size. It is worth seeing the complex with its marble exteriors both day and night. They are wonderful!!