Behind the beauty: stories of Florence façades

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Behind the beauty: stories of Florence façades

 

Florence View

Walking around Florence, it’s hard to miss the very large churches that seem to pop up no matter where you go. They’re all over the city. All have different styles of design from Gothic to Renaissance to Gothic Revival. It got us thinking, what do we know about those beautiful façades that draw us in and inspire us to travel to Florence?

The Basilica di San Lorenzo

In a way, it’s not much by the looks of it. A very large pile of bricks and stones. But in fact, it was designed by Filippo Brunellesci in the 15th century and is actually one of the largest churches in Florence. It also just so happens to be the burial site of many famous Medici family members.

Pope Leo X, a Medici himself, had commissioned Michelangelo to build the outer façade. Michelangelo had created a miniature wooden model of his design but unfortunately the façade was never built.

In 2007, an image of what the façade would have looked like was projected on the front of San Lorenzo church in the hopes that the façade would one day be completed.

San Lorenzo Michelangelo

San Lorenzo Church by Tessa Cole

San Lorenzo Church by Tessa Cole

The Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore

Did You Know? The exterior of the Duomo used to look like that of San Lorenzo. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it? That such a marvelous marbled structure was once bare faced as well. The construction of the structure began in 1296 and was completed in 1436.

The façade was designed by Emilio De Fabris, an Italian architect whose Gothic Revival design won in a competition. Work on the façade started in 1876 and was completed in 1887. It is thanks to De Fabris that there are beautiful hues of pink, green and white marble panels for us to view and snap selfies with the magnificent Duomo in the background.

The Duomo of Florence

The Basilica of Santa Croce

It is the largest Franciscan church in the world and is the burial site of many famous Italians such as Galileo, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Unlike the Duomo, only the front façade of Santa Croce was built. The rest of the building remains as it always has.

The façade was designed by Nicolò Matas, a Jewish architect from Ancona, a seaport city in central Italy.  The façade has a 19th century Neo-Gothic design with a blue Star of David near the tip of the roof and was built from 1857 to 1863. Due to his religion, Matas was not buried within the church like the others but under the porch instead.

The facade of Santa Croce. Photo by Tessa Cole

The facade of Santa Croce. Photo by Tessa Cole

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Post by Tessa Cole

2016-08-11T09:12:29+00:00 August 11th, 2016|