To reach the top of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral is a challenge for some, as the climb consists of 463 steps, and is usually attempted after visiting the rest of this outstanding basilica in the city of Florence, Italy.
The Duomo, Cathedral Church, was begun in 1296 (from a design by Arnolfo di Cambio) on the site of the 5th century Santa Reparata church which was too small and in disrepair. After the death of Arnolfo in 1302, the supervision of the cathedral construction was put in the hands of Giotto di Bondone, who was 67 when he started to build the Campanile. Unfortunately, Giotto died in 1337 and work on the Duomo and bell tower slowed down considerably.
At the beginning of the 15th century, the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral was coming along nicely, but there was no architect chosen for the dome until Filippo Brunelleschi won the commission. The dome took 16 years to complete and on March 25, 1436 the Duomo was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV, 140 years after the first stone was laid. Even then, the renewed facade and portals were not finished until 1903.
The interior of the cathedral is Gothic in Florentine style and designed as a Roman Cross with the nave and two aisles. The fresco of the 'Last Judgement' in the dome is outstanding - the work of Vasari and Zuccari in the late 16th century. There are other frescoes, but much of the art has been transferred to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo.
The Giotto Campanile, the bell tower, is another long climb of 414 steps, but the view from the top is primarily the dome of the cathedral, just across the Piazza del Duomo, and a breathtaking view of the city of Florence, Italy.
Top of the dome of the Florence Duomo (cathedral), Santa Maria del Fiore, from the Campanile (bell tower), City of Florence, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Province of Florence, Region of Tuscany, Italy, Europe.
I photographed this photo with the digital SLR camera model Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III, aperture of f/4.5, exposure time of 1/320 sec. on ISO 100, as always I used a original Canon Lens, the focus lenght for this picture was 75mm.
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