Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) description and photos - Italy: Florence (Topic)

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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) description and photos - Italy: Florence

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Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) description and photos - Italy: Florence

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) description and photos - Italy: Florence. Detailed information about the attraction. Description, photographs and a map showing the nearest significant objects. The title in English is Duomo.

Photo and description

The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore rises in the heart of the ancient city. The carved marble building of the cathedral is crowned with a huge dome of a rusty red color. In Italy, the size of the Florentine Cathedral is second only to the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome.

By the end of the 13th century, thanks to the activities of the Florentine wool merchants and bankers, the city became rich and the small Cathedral of Santa Reparata no longer reflected the new status of the city. The influential merchants of Florence decided to build a new cathedral and invited the architect Arnolfo di Cambio to draft the project in 1296. Di Cambio used elements of both Norman and Gothic architecture in his project.

The first to be built were the wide central nave, side naves and octagonal drum in the eastern part of the cathedral. But in 1310, work was suspended due to the death of di Cambio. Construction resumed only in the 1330s, when Giotto di Bondone was invited to build the bell tower. He died in 1337 without completing the construction of the bell tower, which went down in history as Campanila Giotto. 84 meters high, it has a square shape and is decorated on all sides with hexagonal and diamond-shaped medallions by Andrea Pisano, Luca della Robbia, Alberto Arnoldi and other masters of this school, as well as niches with statues and blind niches. Campanilla was completed only in 1359.

Construction of the rest of the building was resumed somewhat later. The finishing touches for the nave and altarpiece date back to 1420, when the top tier of the huge octahedron of the drum of green and white marble was finally completed.

A technical problem arose when designing the dome topping the octahedron, as the authorities did not want to pay for the tall scaffolding. After heated discussions, the great sculptor, architect and goldsmith of the Renaissance Filippo Brunelleschi was invited, who promised to do without expensive scaffolding when erecting the dome. The master did not disclose the details of his plan until its full implementation ..

Work on the construction of the dome began in 1420. Brunelleschi designed a dome (from bricks placed in a Christmas tree) with an arched frame consisting of eight corner arches with a slope of 60 degrees and horizontal lintels connecting them. The dome is faced with brick-red tiles contrasting with the green, red and white of the marble-faced walls. This entire bulky dome structure, about 43 meters in diameter, ended with a tiny white marble lantern rotunda with a spire and a copper ball (after 1446).

At the end of the magnificent dome, Brunelleschi was persuaded to stay and lead the construction work to its full completion, and by the time of his death in 1446, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore was almost completed.

In 1587 year, the facade of the cathedral was destroyed, the construction of which was started according to the project of Arnolfo di Cambio, but was never completed. From that moment on, for almost three centuries, various projects were proposed and competitions were held for the implementation of the new facade of the cathedral. And finally in 1871, the project was approved by the architect Emilio de Fabrice, who completed the work in 1887. The facade that we see today is strikingly different from all previous options. It is made using the same type of marble, but in different colors: white from the Carrara quarries, green from Prato and pink from Maremma.

Above the portals in the tympanum are scenes from the life of the Virgin Mary. The pediment of the central portal represents the Madonna in glory. The connecting link between the side and central rosette windows is a frieze with statues of the Apostles and the Virgin Mary. Above a series of busts of artists, there is a tympanum with a bas-relief depicting the Heavenly Father.

The interior of the cathedral, made in accordance with the architectural canons of Italian Gothic, strikes with the length of the vertical and horizontal space. In terms of its dimensions (length - 153 meters; width in the nave area - 38 meters and in the transept area - 90 meters), the cathedral ranks fourth in the world. Pylons decorated with pilasters support huge arches and crisscrossing pointed vaults of the naves. At the top is a gallery supported by consoles. In the depths opens the main altar, the work of Baccio Bandinelli, surrounded by three apses, or pulpits, divided, in turn, into five compartments. The floor was made in 1526-1660 of colored marble by architects Baccio and Giuliano d'Agnolo, Francesco da Sangallo and other craftsmen.

In the left nave, two fresco paintings with the equestrian statues of the Condottieri Giovanni Akuto and Niccolo da Tolentino should be emphasized. The first was written in 1436 by Paolo Uccello, and the second in 1456 by Andrea del Castagno.

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Topic: Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) description and photos - Italy: Florence.Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) description and photos - Italy: Florence

Author: Kelly Costine