Famous Buildings and Architecture in Florence

Things to Do, What's New — By katiegreenaway on September 23, 2011 at 10:51 am
Duomo is derived from a latin word “domus” meaning house. This space is meant for the people and God. The Duomo is one of the most majestic pieces of work in the city. It is one of the symbols of Florence which can be depicted on any souvenir you pick up at San Lorenzo Market. This masterpiece created and executed by Filippo Brunelleschi. Described by Vasari as ‘the first to introduce the figure of the architect as a designer”. Modeling after the Roman architecture, like the Pantheon, he designed an octagonal, self-supporting dome.

Santa Maria del Fiore and Baptistery

It didn’t need a center supporting beam at all. It was built with different materials such as stone which was placed where the curve was minimal. The bricks was placed above because they were lighter in weight. There were two shells placed one on top of the other and the internal shell was more that two meters thick and the external one just 80 centimeters. The most brilliant idea was how Brunelleschi decided to fit the bricks together. He used the method called the fish-bone fashion. It was used in Tuscany before but it was never displayed like this. When the dome was finished it was something that was never seen by anyone. An unprecedented, extraordinary event.

Filippo Brunelleschi staring at his masterpiece

Two years after the completion of the dome, a white marble lantern was placed on the top which enhanced the height of the dome from 91 to 114 meters high. It was such an impressive sight. Brunelleschi lived to see his masterpiece finished and full of glory. He died in 1446. He did miss out seeing the additions that came later to the church itself. Although he was sure he created a masterpiece that would change how art and engineering would amplify the art and architecture around the world.

Lorenzo's tomb

A perfect place to rest their tired heads is just what the Medici boys wanted. The Sagrestia Nuova(New Sacristy) was a chapel that was intended for the members of the Medici family. Mimicking Brunelleschi’s Sagrestia Vecchia (Old Sacristy) located in the Church of San Lorenzo, it shared its format of a cubical space with a dome over it. All created with pietra serena and white-washed walls. It was designed and created by Michelangelo who dedicated these monuments to the members of the Medici family. He began working on the tombs in 1521 and completely the interior of the vault by 1524. When the Medici family was expelled from Florence the work came to a stand still. He sculpted figures representing times of the day. Night and Day. Dawn and Dusk. There were supposed to be four Medici tombs, but there were only 2 finished by Michelangelo. He was able to complete the Tomb of Lorenzo di Medici and the Tomb of Giuliano de’ Nemours. Which are miraculous sights to see!

Giuliano's Tomb

There are so much more where this came from! Check out the Top Ten List of Castles, Palaces and Historic Buildings. Enjoy Florence!

Tags: architecture, art, churches, duomo, famous buildings, filippo brunelleschi, medici, medici chapel, michelangelo, santa maria del fiore