not really a blog -- just a few pictures

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Florence, Italy

Florence was the birthplace of the Renaissance.  Renaissance greats like Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, Botticelli, Galileo, Dante, and Machiavelli were born there, lived there, or worked there.

The Duomo (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) is Florence’s main church.  The Duomo was started in 1296 and finished with Brunelleschi’s dome in 1436.  The white octagonal building left of the Duomo is the Florence Baptistery, built between 1059 and 1128.

Ghiberti’s north doors for the Baptistery, finished around 1422, are considered the start of the Renaissance.

The gold-colored east doors were Ghiberti’s second commission for the Baptistery.  Ghiberti considered the east doors his best work, and Michelangelo called them the “gates of paradise,” which is still their name.  The current east doors are a copy, with the originals nearby in the Duomo museum.

Florence’s museums include Michelangelo’s David, Donatello’s David and Mary Magdalene, and Botticelli’s Birth of Venus.  This is Donatello’s St. Mark at Orsanmichele.

Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli’s remains are in Santa Croce, Florence’s Franciscan church.

The Medici banking family ruled Florence.  The dynasty’s founder, Cosimo, is shown in the Piazza della Signoria.

The Palazzo Vecchio -- Old Palace.