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In the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’, the enchanting, romantic and spectacular city of Florence, it is a building that was conceived and began before the Renaissance that is its most iconic landmark.
Known locally as the Duomo, Santa Maria del Fiore is a breath-taking sight to behold, its magnificent cupola and graceful campanile (by renowned painter Giotto) dominating the skyline of the city. Its construction took over 150 years before it was finally consecrated in 1436 thanks to Filippo Brunelleschi, who was finally able to find a way to add the dome, a structure that is not only a major architectural innovation of its time but remains the largest masonry structure in the world to this day.
The construction however did not end there with the striking neo-Gothic pink, white and green marble façade added in the 19th century. The Baptistry that stands across from the Duomo is also not to be missed. It has two sets of beautiful sculptured bronze doors, one by Andrea Pisano and the other by Lorenzo Ghiberti – Michelangelo dubbed Ghiberti’s the ‘Gates of Paradise’.
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