The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo)


The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the main cathedral in Florence and represents one of the hubs of the city. It is one of the most important churches in Europe and it was designed to be the largest in the world at the time of its construction. Its dimensions are imposing with 153 meters in length and a width of 38 meters with a difference in height from the floor to the top of the internal dome of about 90 meters.

It was consecrated on March 25, 1436 by Pope Eugene IV.

The cathedral was built over the pre-existing Church of Santa Reparata, which is still visible in the accessible crypt of the cathedral. Here you can also find Filippo Brunelleschi’s tomb. The foundation stone was laid on 8 September 1296 on a first project by Arnolfo di Cambio, which was followed by other great master craftsmen, including Giotto, who barely had time to start building the large bell tower in his lifetime. The magnificent facade of the Cathedral is a nineteenth-century work by Emilio De Fabris.

In 1418, a public competition was launched for the construction of the extensive dome which was to complete the construction of the cathedral. It was Filippo Brunelleschi's pioneering project that was selected and construction work began in 1420.

The interior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore appears linear and sober and holds masterpieces such as Giovanni Acuto’s equestrian monument  by Paolo Uccello and the one of Niccolò da Tolentino by Andrea del Castagno. The frescoes of the dome are spectacular and depict the Last Judgment by Federico Zuccari and Giorgio Vasari. Other masterpieces, such as the Singing Choirs (Cantoria) by Donatello and Della Robbia made for the Cathedral, are now preserved in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.

Do not miss the opportunity to visit the terraces of the Duomo, which circle the upper cathedral and offer breathtaking views of the city of Florence.

Where is it?

Piazza del Duomo, 50122, Firenze FI

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