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The Cathedral of Florence

The church of Santa Maria del Fiore owes its name to the peculiar shape of the church plan, which represents a big flower, where the transept corresponds to the stalk, the altar to the corolla, and the apse to one of the petals. The cathedral construction began in 1296, under Alfonso di Cambio’s direction. The new cathedral was built around the old church of Santa Reparata.

Tradition has it that the old church was torn down after the new construction was completed. The works went on for years, and the direction passed from Arnolfo di Cambio to Giotto (1334-1336), Francesco Talenti, Lapo and Giovanni Ghini. The Cathedral, built between 1418 and 1434, was made by Brunelleschi. The church façade was completed in 1887 by Emilio de Fabris, following Arnolfo di cambio’s project, and modified by Talenti.

The various floors of the Bell-Tower reflect the alternation of artists who took part in the construction: Giotto (1334), Andrea Pisano (who took Giotto’s place after the artist’s death) and Francesco Talenti, who completed the job in 1359. On the bell-tower one can admire the 16 statues in natural size and some works by Andrea Pisano, Donatello and Luca Della Robbia, as well as some other artists of the XIV and XV century

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