Florence Cathedral - Table of Contents

South elevation - Florence Cathedral
  (S. Maria del Fiore)
Florence, Italy

Photos taken in February 2020, unless indicated otherwise

South elevation
Far left dome:
  Baptistery   ...   Tall tower towards left:  Campanile/Bell tower    ...   The shorter tower is part of  the Palazzo Vecchio   ...  
Work started on the Cathedral  dome in 1420 and was completed in 1436   ...   The altar, located under Brunelleschi's dome, faces the east (Jerusalem) and is in  the front of the cathedral   ...   Opposite the altar is the main entrance in the facade which is the rear of the church.   ...

"Perhaps the most important part of this church, however, was the part that was not built with the rest of the church [1296-c.1367].  This was the enormous dome which covers the crossing, a dome so large and notable that after it was built, its name came to be synonymous with the church itself (“Il Duomo”).  When the church was designed, it was done so by builders who did not know how they could surmount the space of the crossing with a covering.  They assumed that it would be covered at a later date as technology or human ingenuity rose to the challenge, but until that happened it remained uncovered for many years.  It was not until Filippo Brunelleschi, one of the greatest Renaissance minds, devised a plan to build the dome around 1425 that the crossing was finally covered."  - ItalianRenaissance.org (online April 2020)    ...   See also: Mario Salvadori, Why Buildings Stand Up
2002 photo

Tall tower at left:  Campanile   ...   Nave
South elevation on the left   ...   Note the false front  over the cathedral main entrance at rear of the building
2002 photo taken from the dome balcony

First and second bays

Center buildingCampanile/Bell tower      ...   Right: South elevation of the Cathedral
The Cathedral  marble bands repeated the already existing bands on the walls of the earlier adjacent baptistery and Giotto's Bell Tower.

South elevation  - First and second bays
   Note bay dividing pilasters   ...   Note entrance,  isolated below:

Three details below:

Entrance detail #1 - Incrustation

Entrance detail #2 -   "Christ the Teacher"   ...    Incrustation

Entrance detail #3



Second south elevation entrance

Second, third and fourth bays   ...     Dome   ...   South transept
Bay ...   Dome   ...   Transept
Tall, left: 
Campanile/Bell tower - first and second bays not visible because of the angle   ...   Note  entrance, detailed below:

Second, third and fourth bays
  Note pilasters  that separate bays and a second south elevation entrance

Parapet   ...   Multifoils   ...   Corbel table   ...   Green and  white Romanesque style  encrusted marble

Protruding south transept

Details below:

Three tympanum details below:

Tympanum detail #1 - Archangel Michael

Tympanum detail #2   ...
Evangelist with gospel ...   Scrolling acanthus leaves   ...   Encrusted diamond molding   ...   Dentil molding(?)    ...    Corbel table

Tympanum detail #3 - Bas-relief

Acanthus leaves


Dome   ...   Lantern atop dome   ...  
"Brunelleschi invented the technology he needed to assist in building the dome.  Not only did he come up with an ingenious masonry idea for how to build a freestanding brick structure with curved walls without the use of a wooden frame, he also invented the tools he needed to do so. The technology at the time for lifting heavy objects was similar to a wooden gerbil exercise wheel, powered by a human, but only reached a limited height. Brunelleschi used oxen walking in a circle for the first time and created a type of mechanism that precedented anything they had seen at the time using a three cogged wheel system to control the lifting or lowering of heavy objects without moving the walking direction of the oxen, now known as the Reverse Gear." - Culture Trip (online April 2020)
Five details below:

Detail #1 - Cross and ball finial   ...  
Lantern conical roof   ...   Short pinnacles

Detail #2 - Octagonal drum  on lantern

Detail #3 - Terra cotta dome tiles

Detail #4 -  Lantern   ...   Ribbed dome   ...   Unfinished frieze   ...   Roundel

Detail #5 - Unfinished  frieze 

Photos and their arrangement 2020 Chuck LaChiusa
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