The Cathedral of Florence or Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore is among the largest masonry structures ever built in the world. Designed originally by Arnolfo di Cambio, the base of the monument is large enough to cover half a football field. The red dome that gives the Cathedral its more common name, The Duomo, was designed by early Renaissance architect Fillipo Brunelleschi. It was also the world’s largest dome when construction for this Pantheon inspired component of the Cathedral finished in the year 1436. This Cathedral was built on the site where Saint Reparata once stood, signifying the growing importance of Florence and its emergence as a centre of art, culture, and prosperity.
The Florence Cathedral that we see today is a culmination of artistic imaginations of many great artists and architects. Arnolfo di Cambio submitted the design for the Cathedral in the year 1296, and its construction began under the supervision of Francesco Talenti. The Church was consecrated by Pope Eugene IV in 1436 after the completion of the Dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The fresco on the inside of the dome depicts the last Judgement and was painted in colourful strokes by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari between 1572 and 1579.
The beautiful designs in white, pink, and green marble that form the façade of the Cathedral was added between 1871 and 1887. It complements the bell tower which was designed by Giotto di Bondone in 1334 but it was completed first by Andrea Pisano, who also designed the relief decorations on the tower. Later, Francesco Talenti oversaw its construction and was finally completed in 1359.