Religious and Architectural Sites of Florence
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Italy is home to some 60 percent of the world?s most famous works of art.? Of these, one-half are found in Florence (19).? Florence gained most of this collection during the fifteenth century, when the Florentines decided to move back from Gothic fashion to the more Romanesque style of art and architecture.? This return to the Classic style is known as the Renaissance, and Florence was its birthplace.? Renaissance artists prospered greatly on account of the financial support they received from wealthy citizens (such as the Medici family) and the church, which purchased numerous works of art (6).? Further, the Florentines were a people of great civic pride, and found a means of expressing that pride through awe-inspiring monuments and statues of their patron saints (13).? With the will and the means, Florence became the home of many impressive works that have lasted to-date.?
In regards to its architecture, Florence was built over many years, being founded as a Roman colony in the first century BC (4).? It is therefore home to many buildings of Romanesque and Gothic style (6).? With the arrival of the Renaissance, buildings were made again in the classic style, which leads to the city?s diversity in architecture.? Similarly, ?many Florentine structures that outwardly exemplify architecture from earlier times also house interiors, typical of the renaissance? (6).? Illustrations of such changes can be seen among those buildings whose construction spanned the time when Florentines shifted from Gothic back to the Classical style.
Santa Maria Del Fiore:
One such example is Florence?s cathedral (Duomo) Santa Maria del Fiore.? Built as the third and last Florentine cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore stands as the largest in the world (19).? It is built on top of Florence?s former cathedral, the Santa Reparata.? In 1293, the Florentine Republic decided to build a larger cathedral in place of the Santa Reparata,? ?so that the industry and power of man are unable to invent or ever attempt again anything that is larger or more beautiful? (16).? The Santa Reparata remained in place and active until 1375, once the Santa Maria was ready take its place (16).? Official construction was begun by sculptor Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296.? The cathedral was started it in the Gothic style (3), but in 1366 the City of Florence decided that all architecture should follow the Roman style (3); hence it?s mixed styles seen in the bell-tower and dome (15).?? Although parts of the cathedral were not completed until as late as the 19th century, construction overall was completed by 1436, when Pope Eugene IV dedicated the building on March 25th (Florentine New Year), 140 years after Arnolfo laid the first stone (16).
A most famous aspect of the Santa Maria is its dome.? At 300 feet high, and 136...