Il Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, located in Piazza del Duomo, is the work of several architects. Its construction, which lasted 140 years, began at the end of the 13th century under the direction of Arnolfo di Cambio. Giotto, who designed the Bell Tower, succeeded his death. After his death, Andrea Pisano and Francesco Talenti took the reins. Lorenzo Ghiberi and Filippo Brunelleschi finished the work.
For a time, it was the largest cathedral in Europe. Its facade, in white marble from Carrara, red from Siena and green from Prato, is Gothic and Renaissance in style.
Filippo Brunelleschi’s large red octagonal dome is the symbol of the city of Florence. It is 55 meters in diameter and 114 meters high.
In 1418, the Florentine authorities held a contest for the construction of the dome. Finally, they decided to appoint Filippo Brunelleschi as project manager and Lorenzo Ghiberti as deputy director. Both were rivals. In order to avoid the elevation of very heavy materials, Brunelleschi designed several elevating machines. He created a double dome, one parallel to the other, connected to each other, that allowed a higher and lighter structure. It is considered his “great masterpiece”.
Brunelleschi died in 1446 and was buried in the crypt of the cathedral, something very unusual because, at that time, architects were considered artisans.
Reservations are required to visit the Brunelleschi Dome. Tickets can be bought online by buying the combined ticket to visit the Duomo (which includes the Baptistry, the Bell Tower, the Crypt of Santa Reparata, the Dome and the Opera Museum) through its official website.
Thinking about visiting the Dome?
Do not forget to book in advance