An ancient church, Santa Reparata, was already there since the IV century a.c. but it was replaced by a new gigantic Cathedral, which was started on September 8th 1296 by the knowledgeable architect Arnolfo di Cambio, who actually at the same time was working on Palazzo Vecchio, Santa Croce and the city wall, so refreshing the style all over Florence!
It took more than 150 years to accomplish this beautiful church - in 1436 Brunelleschi just finished the famous Dome, the largest and biggest dome ever built after the roman Pantheon one.
It took actually even more to finish the Cathedral, if you consider that the façade was made only at the end of 19th century!!!
The Duomo is the 3rd larger church in the world, after St. Peter in Rome and St. Paul in London. Inside, it possible to stand up to 40,000 people!
While the decoration of the outside is super rich, the inside is very plain and great inspiration for prayers - you feel so "small" inside, compared to the bigness of this church.
Entrance is free of charge.
the Beautiful Cupola
Huge and plain interior