Battistero San Giovanni & Gate of Paradise, Florence

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Baptistry - Ghiberti's famous doors

    by dvideira Updated Jun 8, 2004

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    doors of paradise - florence

    There are 3 sets of gilded bronze doors in the Baptistry: one by Andrea Pisano (present south door: 1336) and the other two by Lorenzo Ghiberti (north and east doors: 1427 and 1452).

    The most famous are Ghiberti's east doors. So beautiful were they that Michelangelo himself called them the "Doors of Paradise."

    But all we can admire now is a very good ( indeed ) copy of the doors - because the original panels are on display at the Museum of the Opera del Duomo. They were moved there after being restored to their original beauty in the 1970s.

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    The Baptistry - Il Battistero

    by dvideira Updated May 30, 2004

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    baptstry - florence

    Once more, I left my favourite one to the end...

    The octagonal Baptistry sits in the piazza in front of the Duomo and the Campanile and it is one of the city's oldest buildings.

    From the earliest times it constituted the heart of Florence’s spiritual life and is a kaleidoscope of beauty which challenges and surprises us, from its Romanesque sheathing of green and white marble to its Mannerist statuary, from the Byzantine and medieval imprint of its mosaics to the casting of its three sets of bronze doors.

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Baptistry - 13th century mosaic ceilings 2

    by dvideira Updated May 30, 2004

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    The mosaics on the inside of the Baptistery began on the arch over the altar in 1225 and continued to cover the entire roof vault during the next hundred years or so.

    The designs for the mosaics were provided by some of the finest Florentine artists of the pre-Renaissance era, including Coppo di Marcovaldo, who was responsible for the cartoon for the picture of Christ in judgment.

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  • dvideira's Profile Photo

    Baptistry - 13th century mosaic ceilings

    by dvideira Updated May 30, 2004

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    baptistry mosaics - florence

    The mosaics show biblical scenes, arranged in six concentric rings centred on the roof dome. The first ring is decorative, while the second shows Christ surrounded by angels. The outer rings have images from the Old and New Testaments.

    A few of the figures, such as those on the middle storey (the women's gallery), do resemble the Byzantine mosaics.

    The interior of the Baptistry was really dark and I tried to capture the beautiful low lights not using flash... so, the pics are a little (?) too dark.... sorry...

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  • GinGinCoo's Profile Photo

    The Baptistry

    by GinGinCoo Written Mar 5, 2004

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    A panel on the

    Consecrated to St. John the Baptist, patron of the city (Florence). It was constructed on an octagonal plan, with a double row of arches surmounted by an octagonal pyramid: the cupola of segments, which correspond to the sides of the octagon. It is of Romanesque architecture with decoration in colored marble.

    THE SOUTH DOOR the oldest, is the work of Andrea Pisano (1330): the twenty upper panels show scenes of St. John the Baptist. The eight below, The theological and Cardinal Virtues. particularly worthy of attention are "The Banquet of Herod", "The Funeral of the Saint" and "Hope".

    NORTH DOOR: The twenty upper panels show "Scenes from the New Testament", the other eight lower panels show "The Evangelist, and "The Teachers of the Church.

    EAST DOOR: This is the side opposite the cathedral. Michelangelo defined it as "The door of Paradise". In the ten gilded bronze panels, shows scenes of the old Testament.

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  • jono84's Profile Photo

    Duomo and Baptistry

    by jono84 Written Aug 17, 2004

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    The stirring sight of the Duomo

    The richly-decorated Duomo and its orange-tiled dome have come to symbolise Florence.

    The cathedral is also Europes 4th largest church, whilst the Baptistry (you'll hear about its bronze doors...) is one of Florences oldest buildings, and can be dated back to the 4th century.

    The amazing dome, built and finished in 1463 by Brunelleschi, was the largest of its time, to be built WITHOUT any scaffolding!!
    The inner shell is supposed to act as a platform supporting the domes outer shell.

    The Cathedral is free to enter, but you inevitably have to pay to climb the dome. The marble pavement and santuary (16th century) is something to behold!!!

    The Cathedral opens 10am-5pm mon-sat, but closes earlier on thursdays and saturdays. Sundays 1.30-4.45pm.
    The Baptistry opens noon-7pm mon-sat, and sundays 8.30am-2pm.

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    The Baptistry

    by Tijavi Updated May 29, 2009

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    Mosaic figure of Christ at the front ceiling
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    In a sign of atonement for the Duomo's sparse interiors, the nearby Baptistry's interiors is richly covered in 13th century colorful mosaics. The ones that adorn the ceiling depict the Last Judgment, quite misplaced if you ask me for a building meant to celebrate a child's initiation into Christendom. Outside, it's all works of art galore, not least among them the south door by Andrea Pisano and the east door by Lorenzo Ghiberti. But beware, these are replicas, originals of which are stored at the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.

    Dedicated to St the John the Baptist (now this sounds more appropriate), this romanesque octagonal building is one of the oldest in Florence, having been completed in the 11th century.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Battistero di San Giovanni

    by croisbeauty Updated Mar 18, 2014

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    The Baptistery of San Giovanni have been built originally around 4th to 5th century, octagonal in plan with a semi-circular apse. In the 11th century it became the city cathedral, since Santa Reparata was being rebuilt. In that circumstances the Baptistery was refaced both inside and out, while in 1128, the smooth pyramidal roof was finished and topped by a lantern with columns. After this works, finished in 1150, the Baptistery looked as it does today.
    Thr three bronze doors of the Baptistery are particularly important. The South door, by Andrea Pisano, is the oldest, decorated with scenes from the Life of San Giovanni the Baptist and the Allegories of the Theologian and CardinalVirtues. The North door with stories from the New Testament is by Lorenzo Ghiberti, with the help of Donatello, Paolo Uccello, Bernardo Ciuffagni and Bernardo Cennini. The Eastern door, known also as the Gates of Paradise with ten panels (now replaced by the copies) representing Stories from the Old Testament is by Lorenzo Ghiberti, and is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of 15th century sculptures.

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  • Jmill42's Profile Photo

    The Baptistry

    by Jmill42 Written Mar 25, 2004

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    The

    The Baptistry, like the campanile, is seperated from the actual duomo. The Baptistry of St. John, which it is know by, is octagonal in shape. The eastern door of the Bapistry is the most well-known and most beautiful. It was created by Ghiberti, who spent 27 years (1425-52) carving or molding the broze panles.

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  • kenyneo's Profile Photo

    Battistero the Gate of Paradise

    by kenyneo Written Oct 12, 2004

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    Gate of Paradise , what do you think ?

    One thing very interesting about Florentine artists is that , they like to compete against each other and often like to criticise each other too. Guess this is what you call healthy competition huh and I guess thats how so many Renaissance masterpiece were born here ....

    This baptistry is dedicated to the patron saint of Florence. According to the book of Firenze which I got hold of in the hostel , I found out that there were 3 famous bronze gilded door
    of its 8 sides. South by Pisano , north by Ghiberti who beat Brunelleschi ( if you remember , he is the one who design the dome of the duomo ) in a famous competition, and called teh Gate of Paradise by Michaelangelo.

    Each of the gilded square employed mathematical perspective to create an illusion of the deep space.

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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Bronze doors of the Baptistery

    by codrutz Updated Aug 22, 2006

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    The Baptistery of Florence has three bronze doors, the most impressive being the south one (vis-a-vis of the entry in the Duomo); this is not usable for entry in the baptistery, for that the west door is used. This door is made by A. Pisano and the other doors were made both by Ghiberti. Michelangelo defined the east door as the Gate of Heaven. The south door is divided into 28 tiles with Stories of St. John the Baptist and Cardinal and Theological Virtues. Get close to the tiles and take a look at the sculptor's marvel art. Andrea Pisano worked for 6 years for this door, between 1330 and 1336.

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    Portals to Paradise

    by goodfish Written Oct 10, 2012

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    Oh gosh, where do I start with this one…

    The Baptistery of St John is part of the Duomo complex and, other than the scavi under church, the oldest of the structures. Information on the thing is all over the place as it has never really been determined exactly how old it is: there’s this ongoing, erroneous myth that it was once a pre-Christian temple. Suffice it to say that a chapel was built over ancient, Roman foundations sometime between the 4th - 5th centuries, probably rebuilt again in the 7th, and again in the 11th. It also wasn't used exclusively for baptisms until the 12th. Over those centuries significant other changes were made: marble cladding and pavement added to the interior (11th/12th), Romanesque-style marble veneer to the exterior and addition of a third, upper story (12th/13th), and intricate, glittering mosaics applied to cupola, apse and other sections of interior (13th/14th).

    And then there are those famous doors: Andrea Pisano’s to the south, and Lorenzo Ghiberti’s to the north and east. The most beautiful - Ghiberti’s bronze “Gates of Paradise” - took 27 years to complete and are now in the cathedral's museum (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo). A copy now serves as a stand-in, and you can see the panel the artist submitted to win the commission at the Bargello.

    The mosaics alone are stunning: this is, in my humble opinion, the real jewel of the Duomo campus and well worth the ticket price. Other highlights include a Donatello tomb of Anti-pope Giovanni XXIII, and gorgeous inlaid 'carpet' pavements - look for the astrological wheel -which radiate out from the center, where the font once stood, to the three entrance doors. This website has some nice pages on the individual panels of the doors, stories and meanings illustrated in the mosaics, and other interesting background: print them out to take along.

    http://www.duomofirenze.it/index-eng.htm

    See the website below for hours and ticket prices. NOTE: the baptistery is considered a sacred site so appropriate dress is required to visit the inside: no uncovered knees or shoulders. Also, no flash, tripods or cell phone use is allowed.

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  • jorgec25's Profile Photo

    Baptistery

    by jorgec25 Written Jun 16, 2009

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    Baptistery
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    The Baptistery, near the Duomo is mostly famous for its golden gate. But there is a lot more to see in the interior. It's well worth a visit, even though sometimes the queues at the entrance can be long. Take notice of the beautiful ceilings and statues. There was some small restoration work going on in May 2009, but nothing that can ruin your visit.

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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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  • codrutz's Profile Photo

    Baptistery

    by codrutz Updated Aug 22, 2006

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    Vis-a-vis from the entrance of the Duomo you will find a fine example of the 11th-century Romanesque architecture - the Baptistery. I repeat: the baptistery was built in the 11th century, a couple of hundred years before the Duomo! It was the city cathedral until 1128 and it is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. Many illustrious men of Florence, including Dante, were baptized here. The layout is basic, perfect octogonal with a 26 meters diameter. It's roof is pyramid-shaped and topped by a lantern with columns; it is also covered in white and green marble.

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