Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence

Piazza San Giovanni, 7-8, Florence, Italy

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore - the main attraction of Florence , situated on the Piazza del Duomo. The most famous of Florence Cathedral was laid in 1296 on the site of the ancient temple of Santa Reparata , founded in the fifth century and considerably deteriorated by the time. Construction majestic building lasted nearly six centuries , although the cathedral was consecrated still the unfinished façade in 1469. Exterior decoration of the temple ended only in 1887 , when Florence was capital of Italy. In the construction of the Cathedral attended by the best architects of his time : Giotto, Arnolfo di Cambio , Andrea Pisano. On the decoration of the interior is also bothered a lot of famous artists and sculptors, among whom was the Michelangelo. With dimensions of 153 meters long and 90 meters wide, the Florence Cathedral was once the largest in Europe. Today, Santa Maria del Fiore is the fourth largest cathedral of the world , second only to St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, St. Paul's Cathedral in London and the Duomo of Milan. Santa Maria del Fiore, known not only for its huge size, but also original facade with a lot of statues, as well as its history. It adopted the laws and decrees by the authorities of Florence, Savonarola preached here. Within these walls, was killed Giuliano, - the brother of Lorenzo the Magnificent of the famous Medici clan , for many years to refuel Florence.. World-famous cathedral brought his dome, designed by the renowned Italian architect Filippo Brunelleschi. Until recently, the dome was considered the largest in the world. Its height is 42 meters , weight - about 40,000 tons, and the bricks in its construction - more than 4 million. The interior of the cathedral stand out unusual hours by Uccello in 1443 and reaching the present day. The arrow of the watch is moving against the normal direction. In the Cathedral you can also see the bronze reliquary of Lorenzo Ghiberti , in which the relics of the first bishop of Florence - canonized Zenobia. In the Cathedral there is a museum that holds two priceless paintings - " Pieta " by Michelangelo , as well as "Mary Magdalene " by Donatello. One of the most notable features of the church tower is decorated with sixteen statues of the patriarchs and prophets , and the bas-reliefs depicting the creation of men and women and the planet. On the upper level of the tower , which can be lifted, breaking the 414 steps, offers the most spectacular panoramic views of Florence and the best angle for viewing the red dome.

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