Thousands of frescoes about the Last Judgment and other oddities of the ancient cathedral, which is considered a symbol of Florence
In the center of Florence there is a unique, absolutely magnificent building – the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. It was built 150 years, but such a long and painstaking work was worth it: a giant, insanely beautiful cathedral can hold three hundred thousand people at the same time, and this is not its only record. In general, you should definitely learn more about this sight and see every detail of it.
Construction stretched for a century and a half
The era of the early Renaissance, or Florentine Quattrocento, among which the most famous representatives was the brilliant Botticelli, falls on the XV century, and it was during this period that the construction of the magnificent cathedral was completed in the central square of Florence. It began its construction a century and a half earlier. It was decided to build on the site of the old, already dilapidated city cathedral of Santa Reparata. The latter stood here for 900 years, so it is not surprising that its walls began to collapse, and the expanded population of the city required a more capacious building for visiting liturgies.
At that time, the rivals of Florence were the equally prominent cities of Siena and Pisa, and the townspeople decided to go around the churches of their neighbors in the luxury and architectural scope. And I must say, they succeeded: on the date of construction (1430s), Santa Maria del Fiore turned out to be the largest cathedral in Europe. It was believed that all residents of Florence could easily fit in it, and even the place would remain – at that time about 90 thousand people lived in the city, and the council was designed for 300 thousand.
He is grand in everything
Interestingly, at least six architects took part in the construction of the cathedral, alternately alternating each other. Initially, this important business was entrusted to Arnolfo di Cambio, a sculptor and architect who worked in the style of the pro-renaissance. He came up with a project and began to build walls, but, alas, he soon died, and construction stopped. Only 30 years later it was resumed – already under the leadership of Giotto. He immediately began to build a bell tower, which later became known as “Giotto’s campaign”.
After the death of the second architect, several other architects worked on the project. By the way, by 1436, when the temple was consecrated, the work on its facades was not completed. Nevertheless, the cathedral worked and received parishioners, and it was possible to complete the facade many years later, in 1887, to master Emilio de Fabriz.
Several famous masters, including Pisano and Donatello, became the authors of the sculptures installed on the second tier of the bell tower (Campanil). By the way, the figures that we see now are not real, but perfectly made copies. The originals are kept in the Museum of the Cathedral.
The architecture of Santa Maria del Fiore is unique. Seen from above, the building with three naves (narrow rooms) and a semicircular apse-ledge has the shape of a Latin four-pointed cross.
In this building, everything is unique – and a giant dark red dome with a diameter of 42 meters (the largest brick dome in the world), and panels of green and pink marble, which are lined with exterior walls, and 45-meter arches.
Murals show what awaits sinners
Well, the famous frescoes of the Florentine Cathedral, covering the inner part of the dome – it is generally something grand! Giorgio Vasari began writing them, and completed the work after the death of the author Federico Tsucarro.
The total area of the painted surface is about half of the football field (3,600 m²), and well, Vasari chose the Last Judgment as the theme. It is believed that when creating scenes the author was inspired by the works of Dante, Bosch, Botticelli, Giotto and other great creators who dedicated their works of literature or painting to this important story….