Florence Cathedral

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Italy >> Florence >> Attractions >> Florence Cathedral

Florence Cathedral

History

The Florence Cathedral, also called the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, is the major church of the city of Florence in Italy. Intially called the Duomo, its construction began in the year 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio, and was finally completed in the year 1436, with a dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi.

The cathedral is characterised by a Gothic style of Architecture, with its exteriors covered with polychrome marble panels in several shades of pink and green, with bordering in white, and an extensive 19th-century façade in Gothic Revival style done by Emilio De Fabris.

Also situated within the premises of the cathedral complex are the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile, and all these three buildings occupy places in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place is thronged by tourists, who visit it to catch a glimpse of the history of the region of Tuscany.It is one of the largest churches of Italy, and its dome held the distinction of being the largest in the world, before it was undone by structural materials of the current age, although it still remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.

A prominent feature, and one that attracts a lot of attention, is the "Porta della Mandorla" on the exterior of the complex, named so due to the hugehalo that surrounds the Virgin, also made by Nanni di Banco (1380/90-1421). The interiors on the other hand, house several art pieces of significance. To the left lie two detached frescoes that displaythe "Condottiero Giovanni Acuto", and the "Niccolò da Tolentino" that have been painted by Paolo Uccello in 1436 and by Andrea del Castagno in 1456 respectively. The clock on the inside walls, also a work by Paolo Uccello displays four "heads of saints". Several of the sculptures that were made originally for the cathedral have now been moved to "Museo dell´Opera del Duomo", including the "Pietà" by Michelangelo.

The stained glass windows that dot the exterior of the Cathedral were made between the years 1434 and 1455, and are the works of famous artists like Donatello, Andrea del Castagno and Paolo Uccello.

Best time to visit

Florence is at its finest in the spring (March to May) and fall (September to mid-November).

Trivia

The Florence cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence.

Timing

10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, Friday; Thursdays 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (May and October), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (July-September), 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (rest of the year); Saturdays 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m.; 1:30-4:45 p.m. Sundays and religious holidays. Closed Epiphany (January 6).


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