Florence’s Santa Maria Del Fiore Cathedral: The 4th Largest Church in Europe

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Florence is the capitol city in the world famous region of Tuscany in Italy, and the city is known mainly for its arts and architecture especially during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance period during the Medici period. It also was the center of trade with Europe and finance of those ages. The city remains so important to this day in fact that UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site in 1982. UNESCO, which stands for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, was established in 1945 to promote peace and security by promoting international collaborations through education, science and culture.

According to the Italian Wikipedia the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral looks upon the city’s notorious piazza Del Duomo, and it is the fourth largest church after Saint Peter in Rome, St. Paul in London and the Duomo in Milan.
On the Florence site (commune.fi.it), the works began in 1296 by the rchitect Arnolfo di Cambio that was in collaboration with the engineer Filippo Brunelleschi who engineered the dome, in the Gothic style of that time and completed in 1436. The outside of the Cathedral has marble panels in different shades of greens and pinks with a white border.

When visiting the city, this is a site that one can not miss, even though Florence offers so much with its art, shopping and delicious food one has to find time to visit the 4th largest church in Europe.

One of the interesting historical points is that the person to lay the first stone was the cardinal Pietro Valeriano Duraguerra, who was very close to the then Pope Bonifacio VIII and it was put on September 8th, 1296 with the feast of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The complete version of the cathedral lasted over a century and it went on after the death of Arnolfo di Cambio, so that it rose witnessing various city and Italy’s important events, while the construction and even later. According to the Italian Wikipedia, one of the most tragic events was what is now called “La Congiura dei Pazzi” and where Giuliano de’ Medici was brutally killed during a sermon by the Pazzi family but since the city was attached to the de’Medici’s in no time the responsible of the tragedy were hanged just a few days later.

And underneath the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore there is an underground crypt where it was used mainly for the tombs of the bishops of Florence. So this Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore holds a lot of Italian history and art and architecture of the place, that one has to go and step in it.


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