How Did Florence’s Medieval Builders Construct the World’s Biggest Dome?

Florence - Duomo

The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (in English, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Flower) is the mother church of the Archdiocese of Florence, in Italy.  Constructed in the 14th century, it replaced a fifth-century church on the same spot which was crumbling with age.The Basilica, with its tall Baptistery of St. John adjacent to the main church, is one of the world's largest houses of worship.  Particularly noteworthy is its Duomo (Dome), which was for centuries the largest dome in the wo … [Read more...]

The Brindellone: Florence’s “Burst of Cart” Heralds the Easter Season

Brindellone - Florence

The eleventh century was a difficult time for Christians in Europe. Muslims had conquered the Levant—a far-reaching geographic region which encompasses modern-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, the Palestinian territories, and parts of Cyprus, Turkey and Iraq. The Holy Land, that part of the world where Jesus had walked and worked His miracles, was closed to Christians.Byzantine Emperor Alexius I Komnenos appealed to Pope Urban II, asking for western volunteers to help repel the invading S … [Read more...]