The Florence cathedral is named basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. Construction had begun in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio and completed in 1436. The dome was constructed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The Florence cathedral is gothic. The outside of the cathedral is faced with polychrome marble panels with shades of pink and green with white borders. The cathedral has a baptistery and Giotto’s campanile. The Florence cathedral is still the largest brick dome ever constructed.
In 1419 the Arte Della Lana had a competition to design the dome for the cathedral. The 42 meter wide space didn’t have the octagonal dome that was planned, even thought a brick model already existed. The two main competitors were Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi won. Brunelleschi got his ideas from the Pantheon. His design of the double walled dome rested on a drum not the roof. This allowed for the entire dome to be built without scaffolding from the ground. The weight of the dome is 37,000 tons with over 4million bricks. He had to invent special hoisting machines and lewissons to bring the large bricks upward. They project was started in 1420 and was completed in 1436.
The Façade was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio and was made in the mid 15th century but was dismantled in 1587. In 1864 Emilio De Fabris won a competition to design a new façade. The work was completed in 1887. The façade is neo-gothic in white and red marble. The Façade is dedicated to the Mother of Christ. The Main Portal has three huge doors made of bronze. The scene on the door is from the life of Madonna. There is a Pediment above the portal. It contains a high relief of Mary enthroned holding a flowered scepter. There is also a series of niches with the twelve Apostles with Madonna and Child. Also between the rose window and tympanum there is a gallery with busts of great Florentine artists.
The exterior walls have alternate vertical and horizontal bands... [continues]
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