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"Battistero" Battistero San Giovanni- Baptistry Tip by mikey_e

  Il Battistero
by mikey_e
  • Il Battistero - Florence
      Il Battistero
    by mikey_e
  • La Porta del Paradiso - East Doors - Florence
      La Porta del Paradiso - East Doors
    by mikey_e

A Baptistery has stood on the spot where Il Battistero is now located since the 5th Century, but the current façade dates from much later, in the 11th Century. Dante Alighieri and other famous Florentines were baptized here, which is why the Battistero deserves just as much of the limelight as Il Duomo across from which it stands. The white and green exterior is typical of the so-called "Tuscan Romansque" school, while the three bronze doors to the Battistero are later additions representing the story of man and his redemption. The south doors were in place by 1336 and were created by Pisano with bas-reliefs of the life of John the Baptist. The north doors are a work by Ghiberti (1401-02) and 20 different panels on these doors depict major incidents from the New Testament. Brunelleschi (the architect who completed Il Duomo) was supposed to share the work with Ghiberti, but was so insulted by the suggestion that he refused. Ghiberti later did the east doors of the Battistero with ten scenes from the Old Testament. Michelangelo was so taken by these doors he declared that they must be "la porta del Paradiso" - the Gate of Paradise. The interior of the Battistero is open to visitors and features more scenes from the Old and New Testaments and inlaid marble designs of the planets on the floor.

Address: Piazza del Duomo
Directions: North of l'Arno and Piazza della Signoria
Phone: +39 055 230 2885

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Aug 21, 2007
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