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Florence Cathedral & Baptistery of San Giovanni

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Florence Cathedral & Baptistery of San Giovanni - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Virtual tour panorama taken next to the Baptistery of San Giovanni showing the front of the Cathedral (Duomo) in Florence and part of the Piazza del Duomo. This is one of the top tourist sights in Florence, and very busy. This panorama gives a good view of the Gothic façade and the polychorme marble facing of both the Cathedral and the bell tower.

Florence Cathedral & Baptistery of San Giovanni - FURTHER INFORMATION

Florence Cathedral & Baptistery of San Giovanni - Florence visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Florence Cathedral & Baptistery of San Giovanni' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Tuscany.

The full name of Florence Cathedral is Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Locally it is referred to simply as Duomo. It is one of the largest churches in Europe and one of the most popular tourist attractions in in Florence (Firenze). The Cathedral fills most of the Piazza del Duomo, with the Baptistery of San Giovanni outside the main (west) entrance and Giotto's Campanile (Bell Tower) next to the south west corner. This is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Florence Cathedral - Façade

The original 14th century façade of Florence Cathedral was never completed. It was dismantled in the 16th century by Medici court architect Bernardo Buontalenti under the orders of Grand Duke Francesco I de' Medici, and some of the original sculptures can now be found in the Museum Opera del Duomo, Berlin Museum and the . Scandal followed the competition to design a new façade and as a result the Cathedral front remained bare until the 19th century when Emilio De Fabris won a new design competition in 1864.

Emilio De Fabris' design called for a neo-gothic façade in white, green and red marble bringing it in harmony with the rest of the Cathedral and the bell tower (Campanile). The façade, dedicated to the Mother of Christ (Mary) took over 10 years to complete, resulting in the amazing vista that greets worshippers and visiting tourists today.

No less impressive are the main doors to the Cathedral, built between 1899-1903 and decorated with scenes from the life of Mary. Above the door is a series of mosaics of biblical figures and some Florentine artisans. Just below the large Rose Window in the façade are niches occupied by the twelve Appostles, with Mary and Child among them.

Florence Cathedral and Piazza del Duomo - Virtual Tours

This virtual tour of the Cathedral contains images of the following locations, some of which are not open to the public:

Florence Cathedral - History and Information

The cathedral in Florence took 170 years to bulid, starting in 1296 when Arnolfo di Cambio laid the foundation stone. The Dome is the newest part, added by Filippo Brunelleschi between 1420-36. The Cathedral is faced with polychrome marble panels yielding stunning decorative results. At the front is a stunning 19th century Gothic Revival facade by Emilio De Fabris.

Inside, Florence Cathedral has a traditional Latin Cross floorplan with the nave and aisles separated by wide pointed Gothic arches resting on composite piers. The central nave is laid out in four square bays with an aisle on each side. It is orientated West-East with the chancel and transepts, each an identical polygon, at the eastern end. The main body of the church is vast, 153m long with a 38m wide nave with the aisle arches 23m high. The crossing is 90m wide and the dome lantern is 90m above the ground. The addition of the dome and cross brings the total height of the Duomo to 114.5m.

Florence Cathedral - Works of Art

Aside from the mable floor and painted dome, the interior of the Dumo is plain to the point of being austere. Notable works of art found within the Cathedral include:
  • Dante and the Divine Comedy by Domenico di Michelino (1465)
  • Funerary Monument to Sir John Hawkwood by Paolo Uccello (1436)
  • Equestrian statue fresco of Niccolò da Tolentino by Andrea del Castagno (1456)
  • Busts of Giotto (by Benedetto da Maiano), Brunelleschi (by Buggiano - 1447)
  • Colossal one-handed liturgical clock face with fresco portraits of four Prophets or Evangelists by Paolo Uccello (1443).
  • 44 stained glass windows, the largest undertaking of this kind in Italy in the 14th and 15th century.
  • 'Christ crowning Mary as Queen' stained-glass circular window above the clock designed by Gaddo Gaddi in the early 14th century.
  • Funeral Monument of Antonio d'Orso (1323), bishop of Florence by by Tino da Camaino.
  • Crucifix behind the High Altar by Benedetto da Maiano (1495-1497).
  • The Last Judgment painting covering the interior of the dome.


Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)
Piazza del Duomo,
9-red, 50122 Firenze,


Bus: Roma - Calzoleria Bologna (C1, C2), Pucci (14, 23, 71, C1)

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