Florence’s famous cathedral, or Duomo, is such a beautiful building. Topped with a Renaissance dome designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, it has long been a symbol of Florence and of Florentine excellence. The cathedral is a large Gothic structure which is actually built on the site of the 7th century church of Santa Reparata – you can tour the ruins of this original church when you visit the cathedral, as some of them are preserved below the current structure.
The Duomo is Florence is the fourth largest cathedral in the world. The only structures larger are St Peter’s in the Vatican, St Paul’s in London and the Duomo in Milan. So clearly I need to visit Milan to round out the set. While the outside of the building is stunningly ornate, inside a calmer aesthetic is at play. The marble floors and intricate dome are lovely to behold, but the interior was less striking than the sheer opulence of the exterior, and far less busy or decorated than say, St Peter’s.
Man, we saw a lot of churches on this break.
In the church we took time to explore the ruins of the older church, as well as looking into some of the smaller side works of art, the beautiful mosaics and marblework, and the the clock above the entrance on the inside of the church. According to the Duomo’s website, it was designed in 1443 by Paolo Uccello in accordance with the ora italica, where the 24th hour of the day ended at sunset… and it still works!
After touring the interior we headed back out into the spring sunshine, which had the tower and facade of the cathedral looking splendid (I haven’t edited these shots).
We crossed over the street to visit the Baptistry, where we were greeted with one of the the most splendid and ornate domes I have ever seen. Such detail and artistry must have taken a lifetime, if not several lifetimes.
In every church we visited during our Italian visit I was taken aback with the sheer beauty of what had been created. I also developed a semi-permanant neck-crick from looking up at ceilings, domes and frescoes. #travelbloggerproblems, anyone?
If you’re visiting Florence, you’ll be visiting the Duomo – it’s a stunning building!