Battistero San Giovanni & Gate of Paradise, Florence

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  • Battistero San Giovanni & Gate of Paradise
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  • Battistero San Giovanni & Gate of Paradise
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  • Battistero San Giovanni & Gate of Paradise
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  • margaretvn's Profile Photo

    the Baptistery

    by margaretvn Updated Jan 29, 2006

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    The Baptistery of Saint John is the oldest building on the square. For years it was thought to be a pagan temple 'converted' for Christian use.
    In the 5th or early 6th century the first baptistery was erected in fron the the cathedral that was then there - the Santa Reparata. This early Baptistery building was similiar shape to the one we see today - octagonal. This octagonal shape is though to represent the 'octava dies' the eighth day - the time of the Risen Chist. It alludes to the hope of resurrection after death of the Christian faith.
    From the mid-11th century the Baptistery was reconstructed on a larger scale as we see it today. It was also decorated with expensive marble (a lot of it taken from ancient buildings). It was,for FLorence, a time of financial and political growth. Flroence became the seat of Imperial government in Tuscany and then it broke free from the Holy Roman Empire. During the 12th and 13th century the Baptistery was enlarged further with a monumental dome and a rectangular apse. Then from the 14th century the wonderful external sculptured decoration was added.
    When you enter the Baptistery you can see why it is traditonally said that it was once a Roman temple. The general arrangement of the large domed area recalls the Pantheon and it also has monolithic columns adn 2 sculptured sarcohagi. the wall decoration is geometrical amd the lovely mosiacs show Byzantine influence. All of this makes it a mixture of several cultures of Medieval Europe.
    Looking up from the font in the Baptistery you see a large Christ in 13th century mosaics and under his feet the dead are rising as in the Lasat Judgement. There are also the figures of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the fathers of ancient Israel on Christs right head side. On his left is Hell with images of death.

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  • fishandchips's Profile Photo

    Gates of Paradise

    by fishandchips Updated Jan 23, 2006

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    Gates of Paradise

    The east door of the Duomo is probably the most famous door with only the Jubilee door at St Peters in the Vatican more famous. Described at gates worthy of paradise by Michelangelo they are indeed a great sight. Ghiberti designed the east door which depicts scenes of the Old Testament. Damaged by floods in 1966 when the Arno got a bit full the original doors are in the Cathedral Museum with these ones very good copies.

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  • geeyook's Profile Photo

    Baptistry of Florence

    by geeyook Updated Nov 22, 2005

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    The Baptistry in Florence

    Dating back to ancient Roman times, the octagonal Baptistry is the oldest Christian Temple in the city. The current structure was built between the 11th and 13th century on the site of a pagan temple. The most famous feature of the Baptistry are the east facing guilded bronze doors by Ghiberti. The doors were dubbed "Gates of Paradise" by Michelangelo.

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    Eastern Door of Baptistry

    by geeyook Updated Nov 22, 2005

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    Baptistry

    The current eastern doors are actually copies of the originals. Damaged by the centuries and a 1966 flood, the restored original door panels are housed in the nearby Opera Del Duomo Museum. Consisting of 10 gilded bronze panels depicting Biblical scenes, it took Ghiberti 27 years (1425-1452) to complete the massive doors to the Baptristry. Inspired by Ghiberti's masterpiece, Michelangelo called it the "Gates of Paradise". If you look carefully you will notice a self portrait of Ghiberti at the center of the door.

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  • ophiro's Profile Photo

    The Baptistery

    by ophiro Written Aug 31, 2005

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    The Baptistery and the famous doors

    The Baptistery is a beautiful building just in front of the famous Duomo.

    The Baptistery was built in the 11th century and you can see the doors with the famous "Gates of Paradise" - you can see on the doors stories from the bible like Adam and Eve , The Sacrifice of Abraham and more.

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  • dfactor's Profile Photo

    The Famous Baptistery Doors

    by dfactor Updated Aug 23, 2005

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    East Door of Baptistery in Florence

    The octagonal plan of the Baptistery has 3 beautiful doors by Andrea Pisano and Lorenzo Ghiberti that draws the crowds.
    This photo shows the most famous East Door, which Michelangelo called Heaven's Door. The door has 10 panels form the scenes of Old Testament. It took Ghiberti 27 years to complete the massive doors to the Baptristry. If you look carefully you will notice a self portrait of Ghiberti at the center of the door.
    The current doors are actually copies of the originals, which are housed in the nearby Opera Del Duomo Museum.

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  • buzzz's Profile Photo

    Gates of Paradise

    by buzzz Written Aug 18, 2005

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    Gates of Paradise

    These are actually copies of the gates of paradise on the Baptistry. The originals by Lorenzo Ghiberti are housed in the Museo. The came by their name because Michelangelo thought that they where so beautiful he said that they could "grace the very gates of Paradise". Well he should know.

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  • Oana_bic's Profile Photo

    The Baptistery and the Gates of Paradise

    by Oana_bic Written Aug 3, 2005

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    The Baptistery was built around 6th or 7th century. Around 1400 the city had a competition to choose an artist to complete the doors for the north entrance. The competition ended in a tie between Brunelleshi and Ghiberti. Brunelleshi was insulted by the idea the Ghiberti was as good as him as at that time Ghiberti was only 23 years old. So Brunelleshi refused the work and left for Rome. This left Ghiberti to complete the doors. He worked about 2o years on the doors, which had about 30 bronze panels when completed. These sets of doors became know and the "Gates of Paradise."
    Models of the doors hang on the Baptistery today, while the originals are either at the local museum.

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  • TRimer's Profile Photo

    Gates of Paradise

    by TRimer Updated Aug 1, 2005

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    Gates of Paradise

    When you visit the Baptisery of San Giovanni be sure to take time to admire the golden gates (they are actually replicas). Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise (pictured here) depict stories from the bible.

    These doors took 27 years to complete (1425-1452), but the result was so outstanding (even Michelangelo said that they were "worthy of Paradise"), that they were hung on the east side, in the place of honour. The originals have since been replaced with copies after they were damaged in a flood in 1966.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    The East Doors of the Baptistry

    by Willettsworld Updated Jul 9, 2005

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    Lorenzo Ghiberti's famous bronze Baptistry doors were commissioned in 1401 to mark the city's deliverance from the plague. Having already spent 21 years working on the North Doors, he spent some 27 years making these! Michelangelo dubbed them the "Gates of Paradise". The original ten relief panels showing scriptural subjects are now housed in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo as they were damaged over the centuries and by a flood in 1966.

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  • Willettsworld's Profile Photo

    Baptistry

    by Willettsworld Updated Jul 9, 2005

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    The Baptistry may date back to the 4th century making it one of Florence's oldest buildings. The octagonal Baptistry is the oldest Christian Temple in the city. The current structure was built between the 11th and 13th century on the site of a pagan temple.

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  • l_riva_l's Profile Photo

    Le Porte del Paradiso

    by l_riva_l Written May 22, 2005

    The famous Porte del Paradiso (Gate of Paradise) by Lorenzo Ghiberti were named so by Michelangelo so impressed was he of these doors the the Battistero. The original panels are in the Museo del Duomo, these are reproductions.

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  • jmhenry1123's Profile Photo

    The Baptistry

    by jmhenry1123 Written Mar 16, 2005

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    Florence Baptistry

    The Baptistry stands at the doorway of the cathedral and its entrance is marked by 2 gleaming bronze doors depicting various biblical scenes. These were designed by Ghiberti. The original panels were almost lost in a flood of the Arno, but they are now housed in the Duomo museum while reproductions are in the baptistry doors.

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  • rexvaughan's Profile Photo

    Michelangelo finished second!

    by rexvaughan Written Jan 22, 2005

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    Ghiberti's doors

    It is hard to believe that Florence had a contest to see who would do the doors on the Baptistry and Michelangelo lost! However he did and these bronze doors were carved by Lorenzp Ghiberti in the 15th C. He used his mathematical skill to design with incredibel depth perspective and the result was these doors which Michelangelo described as the "gates to Paradise."

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  • Grazina's Profile Photo

    Baptistery of San Giovanni

    by Grazina Written Nov 23, 2004

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    I'm 278 ft. in the bell tower.

    The Baptistery of St. John was built on foundations dating from the Roman epoch, and some of the original marble from these buildings was used in its construction. During the Middle Ages, it was believed to have been a temple to Mars, later transformed into a church.
    Picturesque transport by horse and carriage in front of the cathedral and bell tower seen from the elegant campanile, or bell tower.

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