Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is located in Florence and is the third largest church in the world. Designed by Arnolfo di Cambio, it is 153 meters long, 90 metres wide and 90 metres high from the floor to the bottom of the lantern.
The Cathedral of Florence, officially known as Cattedrale Santa Maria del Fiore but better known as the Duomo, was originally planned in 1296 as a Gothic cathedral. It replaced the church of Santa Reparata, a cathedral church with a history going back to the early Middle Ages.
The new cathedral symbolized Florence’s growing importance and was to be significantly larger than its predecessor. Francesco Talenti, who lead the construction of the cathedral from 1351 on increased its size even more by expanding the apses and extending the nave. Filippo Brunelleschi – the most important architect of the early Renaissance – designed the Duomo’s most striking feature, the enormous dome.
Construction of the church would last until 1436 when it was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV. The originally planned Gothic front façade however was unrealized. The magnificent marble cladding that we can see today was only added later, between 1971 and 1887. Some statues that were created for the originally planned façade are now on a display at the Museo dell’Opera dell Duomo, a nearby museum dedicated to works of art from the cathedral.
The interior of the cathedral is less colorful and decorations were kept to a minimum. The exception is the fresco on the dome’s interior, painted between 1572 and 1579. The fresco depicts the Last Judgement. There is also beautiful marble floor with intricate patterns.
The dome of the cathedral was the world’s largest when it was completed in 1436 and still towers over the city. The lantern on the top of the dome was added later in 1461.
Location: Via della Canonica, 1 | Piazza del Duomo,50122, Florence
Nearby hotels: Santa Maria Novella Hotel, Portrait Firenze, Grand Amore Hotel and Spa
Nearby sights: Piazzale Michelangelo, Piazza della Signoria, Accademia Gallery
Official website: https://www.ilgrandemuseodelduomo.it/
Tel.: +39 055 2302885