The Cathedral of Florence

The Cathedral of Florence

The original cathedral of Florence was founded in 393 at the Basilica of San Lorenzo, built outside the old Roman city walls. Then in the 5th century, a cathedral dedicated to Santa Reparata was built at the present site of the cathedral, across from the Baptistery. Although the old medieval structure was rebuilt and renovated several times, by the end of the 13th century it was no longer adequate to serve the city which by this time had become a thriving commercial capital of Europe.

On September 8, 1296, the feast day of the nativity of the Virgin Mary, the first stone of a new cathedral designed by Arnolfo di Cambio (c.1245-1310) was laid. In 1412 the cathedral was dedicated to the Virgin of the flower, Santa Maria del Fiore, and by 1436 its landmark dome was completed.

At the time of its completion it was the largest cathedral in Europe. Today, it is the third largest church in the world, and together with the other structures in the complex, like the bell tower, Baptistery, and the museum, it still continues to amaze.
Join us for our Duomo Complex Semi-private Tour with Bell Tower Climb to discover the intriguing history of the Cathedral and the monuments of the Cathedral complex, including the Cathedral crypt, the Baptistery, and the Cathedral Museum which houses works of art by great masters like Michelangelo, Donatello, and Ghiberti. The tour includes a Cathedral Pass that gives you access to climb the Bell Tower at your own pace after the tour so you can take in a stunning view over the city.

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