Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore has become the hallmark of Florence. The ancient and majestic Cathedral of St. Mary amazes with its enormous size, beauty and luxury of decoration, and the solemn severity of the interior decoration. Located on the main Cathedral Square of the capital of the Tuscan region and belongs to the architectural masterpieces of the Florentine Quattrocento. Famous for its huge brick dome, unusual and innovative for the 15th century.
History of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore began on the site where the Church of Santa Reparata had previously been located. By the end of the 13th century, it began to collapse and could not accommodate all the parishioners of the rapidly growing Florence. The cathedral was supposed to confirm the prosperity of the city, and in its size surpass the cathedrals of the main rivals of Florence, the cities of Pisa and Siena.
Construction of the temple began in 1296 and lasted about six hundred years, until the end of the 19th century. At each stage of construction, the latest technologies for that time were used. The first project was developed by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio. The building of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore was supposed to be in the shape of a cross, with a high bell tower. A huge dome was to be installed in the middle of the grandiose structure. In 1302 the architect died. There was a forced pause.
Resumption of construction
It began only after the relics of St. Zenobius of Florence were found in the crypt of the old Church of St. Reparata. The construction of the cathedral began to be controlled and financed by the guild of merchants of Florence. The architect Giotto di Bondone became the head of the work, and Andrea Pisano was appointed his assistant. The maestro provided the commission with his design of a 90-meter bell tower - the Campanile, and an option for finishing the first tier of the cathedral building. The plague epidemic that swept across Europe in 1348 again delayed the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore indefinitely. Then the architects Francesco Talenti and Giovanni Di Lappo Ghini worked and made their additions to the project.
The main construction work ended in 1418. Strong walls and a bell tower were erected. Until 1434, work continued on the construction of a unique octagonal dome. The author of the construction project was Filippo Brunelleschi, who developed the design of the structure based on the experience of constructing the Roman Pantheon, without the use of wooden scaffolding. Finishing work began only in the 16th century.
Interior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
It amazes with its solemn severity. Natural lighting is provided by round windows in the upper tier. During services, the church accommodates 30 thousand parishioners. The entire space is divided into a central hall and two side naves.
The height of the vaults reaches 45 meters. The lancet windows are decorated with colored stained glass. The hall contains many statues and wall paintings. The huge dome is decorated with multi-row paintings of the 16th century on the theme of the Last Judgment, performed by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari. You can visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.