Florence Cathedral (Duomo)
Posted by Avital Pinnick on August 2, 2012
Places like the Duomo in Florence (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, or Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower) make me really appreciate a wide angle lens. The baptistry and cafes are so close to the church that I needed a wide-angle lens to get it all into a single shot. In the photo above you can see the entire cathedral, Giotti’s campanile, and the edge of the Battistero di San Giovanni (Baptistry of St. John).
The main structure of the church was completed in 1436, with the dome by Filippo Brunelleschi, who devised some amazing structural solutions. The outside of the cathedral is covered with beautiful inlaid green, pink, and white marble. The façade (front end of the church, in Gothic style) is 19th century. According to Wikipedia, the duomo’s dome is the largest brick dome in the world (it has been surpassed by domes constructed with more modern building materials).
The duomo square is dominated by the cathedral and a huge, separate baptistry, shown below. Its eight sides (eight is a symbolic number for baptism) are covered with colored marble in the Florentine Romanesque style (check out the rounded arches, one of the hallmarks of Romanesque architecture) but the real attraction of the baptistry are the magnificent bronze doors, known as the “Gates of Paradise,” by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The original doors are in the duomo museum. The ones currently adorning the baptistry are modern copies.
The photos below start on the north side of the cathedral and end on the south side, the same side as Giotti’s campanile (bell tower).
The Gothic facade faces west. Mary, holding a flower, is enthroned, surrounded by Florentine artists and noblemen.
South side of the cathedral, showing the magnificent dome. You can climb up there, by the way, but it’s a long line and a lot of waiting. It’s also a lot of steps!
Door on the north side:
I’ve been rather quiet for a while because I had a photo shoot two nights ago. It was a Siyum Shas, the celebration that culminates the 7.5 year worldwide cycle of studying the Talmud, held in Mitzpeh Nevo, where I live. I was asked to shoot both stills and video. Now I have to sit down and edit all those photos and videos.
In addition, I taught a course on Enterprise Architect at work this morning. EA is a UML modeling tool for software design. I was sent to Staines a month ago (remember the Stonehenge shots?) and spent four days learning this program so that I could teach system architects in Israel. Although I had prepared my notes and written the documentation, I was still clicking, clicking, clicking my way through EA last night at 11 p.m. because I found some more cool functionality. I was afraid that I had too much material for a four-hour session but — mirabile dictu — we finished half an hour early! Of course, it didn’t hurt that the ten people in my course are among the brightest in our company. Last night I slept 4.5 hours, because of nerves. Adrenalin and coffee got me through the session, although I was quite tired by the end.