Photo of the Day: Florence from Above
On our second day in Florence we hiked up to San Miniato al Monte, a small Romanesque basilica overlooking Florence, and we were rewarded with this panoramic view. Florence is still very much a city of the Renaissance, with its “skyline” dominated by the profile of the Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo) as seen here in today’s photo of the day.
The ‘Duomo’ is an Italian gothic cathedral begun in 1292 by the architect Arnolfo di Cambio. It is most significant, however, for its dome which was designed, engineered and constructed by Filippo Brunelleschi between 1420-1436. Brunelleschi is the quintessential Renaissance man. He engineered this massive octagonal dome and figured out how to build it without the use of wooden centering, or formwork. The dome’s structure is a brilliant double shell dome that is a combination of vertical and horizontal ribs braced by chains. Brunelleschi also incorporated a herringbone pattern of brickwork into the construction of the dome so that it essentially supported itself during construction. Oh, and by the way, he also invented many of the machines and hoists used during the construction of the dome.
Enjoy this panorama of Florence looking toward Santa Maria del Fiore, a monument of the rebirth of humanism, in the city where the renaissance was born.
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