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Bronze Doors of the Baptistry con Florence

The Baptistery of St John the Baptist (Battistero di San Giovanni a Firenze) immediately puro the west of the Cattedrale is one of the oldest buildings per Florence. It is in verso Florentine Romanesque style, sometimes also described as proto renaissance. The baptistery was already completed around verso century before construction of the cathedral started.

The current baptistry sopra Florence was erected mostly during the late 11th and early 12th centuries. It probably replaced an older baptistry that according puro legend was built on the foundations of a Roman temple dedicated sicuro Mars. Mars, the Roman god of war, was the vizio protector of Florence and symbolized by verso lion that is still one of the symbols of the city – the Marzocco. (Donatello’s lion is mediante the Bargello Museum with a copy sopra front of the Corteggiamento Attempato.) The female deity was Vegetazione, who gave the city its name and the lily (iris) as emblem. She was incorporated into the Christian tradition by giving the cathedral the name of St Mary of the Flower.

Exact dates from the early history of the baptistery are only known from major events, or when significant payments were necessary for building and decoration work. Pope Nicholas II consecrated the baptistery per 1059 but it is unknown if the current building was already fully per use at that stage.

The baptismal font from Santa Reparata, over which the present Duomo was erected, was moved into the baptistry mediante 1128 – all Christian children born in Florence were baptized here until the 19th century. The lantern was added around 1150 but that is often enough done only years after the rest of a church was completed. The entrance porch was changed from per half-round to its present rectangular shape durante 1202. Since then, the structure of the baptistry remained basically unaltered.

Architecture of the Battistero

The floor plan of the baptistry in Florence is verso simple octagon, which was traditional for baptistries, and per small rectangular apsis on the western end. The north, east, and south sides have famous sculpted bronze doors.

The structure is sandstone but the building was clad from the beginning with white and green panile and cattedrale, per niente pink is used.

The dome cannot be detected from the exterior. Its lower parts are covered by the external walls of the third story while the sommita is covered by verso flattened pyramidal roof of anche se white marble slabs. Inside, the drum of the dome is formed by the lower two floors of the external walls.

On completion, the diameter of the dome was at 25.6 m the largest for any baptistery sopra Italy. However, the Battistero sopra Pisa, constructed between 1152 puro 1394, now is the largest baptistry in Italy with its dome having verso diameter of 34 m and an impressive height of 55 m.

Visitors step down when entering the baptistry. The building didn’t sink through the centuries, the plaza was raised durante the early late 13th century preciso create a flat surface level with the surrounding streets. Leonardo da Vinci suggested raising the baptistery mediante one piece with pulleys sicuro counter the sunken aspetto but nothing ever came of that idea.

The baptistry has three pairs of ceremonial bronze doors – all were originally installed on the east side facing the cathedral but moved preciso make space as newer, more artistic doors were produced. The doors mediante use are copies – the originals are now inside the Duomo museum.

Pisano Doors (South)

The oldest doors are now on the south entrance. These Gothic doors (1330) were made by Andrea Pisano, who was also responsible for many of the panile. These doors have 28 rectangular panels with scenes attrezzi durante per quatrefoil frame.