Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) was a genius when it came to architecture and engineering. The triumph of his career can be seen from all over Florence and the surrounding areas: the dome of the Cathedral. Not only did he design the dome, but he designed the machinery that would be used to create this massive dome. Earlier in his career, he studied and became a master goldsmith, part of the silk merchants guild. Brunelleschi traveled to Rome with Donatello and studied the Pantheon, which is where his ideas for the Florence Cathedral’s dome evolved.
He is also known for competing against Ghiberti for the commission to create the doors to the Florence Baptistry – he lost the competition but his entry of the Sacrifice of Isaac is one of only two remaining entries and is on display next to the winning entry by Ghiberti in the Bargello.
Brunelleschi was very protective of his ideas and typically would not share them with others. The story is told by biographer Vasari of how Brunelleschi, when asked for his plans for the dome, told the leaders planning the construction to stand an egg upright on one end. When they couldn’t do this, Brunelleschi crushed one end of the egg and it stood upright. After the others exclaimed that anyone could do that, Brunelleschi replied that anyone would be able to build the dome if he shared his plans.
Below is a list of the works by Brunelleschi in Florence. If you have just a short time, then I recommend you spend it at the Cathedral – visit the interior and climb to the top of the dome. As you walk the steps leading to the top, you can see the construction of this engineering marvel.
Sacrifice of Isaac
Santa Maria Novella
Dome and lantern of the Florence Cathedral
architectural models on display at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Cathedral Museum)
Ospedale degli Innocenti
Basilica di San Lorenzo
Palazzo di Parte Guelfa
Old Sacristy of San Lorenzo Church
Pazzi Chapel in Santa Croce cloister
Rotunda of Santa Maria degli Angeli
Tomb is located in the Florence Cathedral.
There are a couple other famous artists I want to introduce you to, but let’s take a break and look at Brunelleschi’s dome. You can’t miss it – it is in the middle of the city, sitting atop the Florence Cathedral.
Favorite thing: Visit the Cathedral, the so called Santa Maria dei Fiori church, also known as the Duomo, which has some very cool and artistic colored windows and a modest but beautiful decoration inside. The building itself is very impressive.
Favorite thing: Palazzo Davanzati is an typical Fiorentine styled medieval four or five storied haus with severe brick or stone facade and numerous windows. It almost look like an fortress or defending tower. Most of this houses have built in gallery on its rooftop where people used to spend, searching for refreshment, time in the hot summer days. In particularly hot nights it used to serve as a badroom too.
Fondest memory: The Duomo in Florence, located in the city center, is a great work of architecture. This one is not to be missed. The area surrounding the Duomo has other great architecture including churches and buildings. In general, it's hard to miss great architecture in Florence. You will likely see it if you're near the city center and the museums.
Favorite thing: Personally I found the Campanile more impressive than the Dome. with its 95 meters is the Campanile 6 meters shorter than the Dome. It is clad in white, green and pink Tuscan marble. It has obvious Gothic windows.
Favorite thing: The Dome was made by Brunelleschi. His revolutionary achievement was to built the largest dome of its time without scaffoding. 463 steps lead to the top from where you can see how an inner shell provides a platform for the timbers that support the outer shell.
The Bapristry is one of Florence's oldest buildings, dating perhaps to the 4th century.
Of course everyone knows the famous East doors of the Baptistry...
It lies at Piazza di San Giovanni, next to the greatest Sta Maria del Fiore.
It was awfully cold, windy and rainy. All this didn't stop me from enjoying the sights. Climbing the Duomo, standing on top and looking around the entire city and it surroundings was a great thing to do.
Climbing up is hard work but amazing, first you get till the rim of the big dome, after going up some very very windy stairs. Next you go to the other side of the dome, sadly enough not being able to make pictures due to the plastic screen. Then you go between the dome inner and outer wall up to the top. So you walk a bit lopsided. But the view is so rewarding!
The portico to the right of the Palazzo Vecchio, is the Loggia dei Lanzi. Designed by Andrea Orcagna and built in 1376-82, it houses one of the finest open air sculpture collections in the world. The leftmost statue is Benvenuto Cellini's Perseus holding up Medusa's head, and the statue under the right arch is the Rape of the Sabines, by Giambologna.-
El portico que se encuentra a la derecha del Palacio Vecchio es la Logia de los Lanzi. Diseñada por Andrea Orcagna y construida durante los años 1376-82, alberga uno de los más bellos museos al aire libre en el mundo. La estatua que se encuentra más a la derecha es Perseo con la cabeza de Medusa, de Benvenuto Cellini y la del otro extremo es el Rapto de las Sabinas, de Giambolonga
This church contains frescos by Giotto, many tombstones and commemorative monuments, including those of Galileo, Rossini, Macchiavelli's tomb, and Vasari's monument to Michelangelo, who died in Rome but was brought to Florence to be buried here, by Cosimo I. The collection of art in this church complex is by far the most important of any church in Florence. In my opinión, this church is the most beautiful in Florence. -
Esta iglesia contiene frescos de Giotto, varias tumbas y monumentos conmemorativos, incluyendo las de Galileo Galilei, Rossini, la tumba de Macchiavelli, quién falleció en Roma y luego fue trasladado a Florencia para ser enterrado allí, por orden de Cosimo I. La colección de arte que existe en esta iglesia es la más imporante en relación a cualquier iglesia en Florencia. En mi opinión, es la iglesia más bella en Florencia
There are many religious buildings around Florence, the main ones being:
The Duomo (Santa Maria del Fiore)
Church of Santa Croce
Church of Santa Maria Novella
Basilica of San Lorenzo with its Cappelle dei Medici
Church of Santa Spirito
There is a lot of great art on show in all these buildings - S. Croce is particuluarly interesting as it houses the Tomb of Michelangelo. There is also an interesting story about Galileo, but you'll have to go to find out!
Fondest memory: The calm cloisters next to Santa Croce and the incredible facade of the Duomo are worth visiting.
Florence is often known as "The birthplace of the Renaissance". It is home to numerous churches, public buildings, and houses constructed with Romanesque or Gothic architecture. The construction of the famous Duomo marks the beginning of Renaissance architecture.
The most of the historic sights are located in the city centre within walking distance to the Duomo.
Santa Maria del Fiore, the Gothic cathedral erected over the ancient basilica of Santa Reparata, was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio who began construction in 1296.
Brunelleschi completed it in 1436 with the elegant dome, the inside of which was entirely frescoed by Vasari and Zuccari. The final phase in the construction of the cathedral, that is the completion of the facade, dates from the mid 19th century.
To the right of the cathedral rises the Bell Tower, or Campanile, designed by Giotto in 1334. The square tower is covered with red, green and white marble inlays, decorated with panels and carvings, and made graceful by double- and triple-windows.
Favorite thing: The green and white marble Baptistery of Saint John (1128) is a masterpiece of Florentine Romanesque architecture. The interior of the dome is decorated with mosaics. The splendid bronze doors (including the Door of Paradise) were made by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti.
Even without studying it in Art History books, just the size of this mammoth cathedral is awe-inspiring. Brunesleschi did himself, and the city of Florence proud, with the massive dome that crowns the main cathedral.