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The Baptistry in Florence - Battistero di San Giovanni

Battistero di San Giovanni FlorenceOne of the most popular things to do in Florence is to vists the Baptistry in Florence.

The Baptistery is Dante's "Bel San Giovanni" (Fair St. John) the religious building most beloved by the Florentines.

It is situated in The Piazza Del Duomo,  the centre of tourism in Florence, Italy.

The Baptistery was originally built dury the 4th - 5th centuries as a Church dedicated to St John The Baptist, but it is the work completed on the building in the 11th - 12th Centuries that has made made it the most important monument of Romanesque architecture in Florence.

Baptistery in The Piazza Del Duomo, Florence

The Baptistery is an amazing site which was still used for baptisms up until turn of last century.

Just the gates by Ghiberti with their gilded bronze panels should be enough reason to visit, but you shouldn't miss the magnificent mosaics inside of the roof.

The structure of the Baptistry with Its regular octagonal form and the symmetrical distribution of the external decoration were, for centuries, an architec-
tural ideal for artists of the stature of Arnolfo, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Leon Battista Alberti, Leonardo and Michelangelo.


Florenec Baptistery door of paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti It has three magnificent bronze doors.

The south Door is by Andrea Pisano (c. 1330): it consists of 28 panels illustrating the life of John the Baptist; the bronze cornice is by Vittorio Ghiberti , son of Lorenzo.

The North Door is by Lorenzo Ghiberti, cast between 1408 - 1424, after Lorenzo won a competition in which Brunelleschi also took
part; the 28 panels represent episodes from the Life of Christ.

The last Door, the famous door of paradise is also by Lorenzo Ghiberti; it is composed of 10 gilded bronze panels, illustrated with complex scenes from the Old Testament.

These doors, however, are not the original Gates of Paradise doors which are in the Duomo Museum

The inside of the Baptistry, like the outside is designed around an octagonal plan with marble decoration and each wall divided into three by tall columns.

The twin-arched windows of the women's gallery open above the trabeation.


A baptismal font, mentioned by Dante in the Divine comedy, used to stand in the centre of the fine inlaid marble floor but was removed in the 16th century.


Gold Mosaic in the Baptistry Florence featuring Christ the Judge.The gold mosaics of the Cupola were laid between the mid 13th and the mid 14th century by
local Florentine and also Venetian craftsmen.

The early mosaics in the Baptistery were begun by the Franciscan monk Jacopo.

The most important artists who designed the cartoons for the mosaics include Cimabue and the Tuscan artist Coppo di Marcovaldo.

The pictorial subjects of the Mosaics are biblical scenes from the Old and New Testaments and are dominated by by the by the impressive Christ the Judge.