Cathedral of Santa Maria dei Fiori 

The immense Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, more commonly known as the Duomo, was finished in 1434. It is the third largest cathedral in the world. Its dome rises some 300 feet above the city. The trademark dome on this cathedral has become the symbol of Florence. You can climb up the 463 steps into the dome for a spectacular view of the city. The fresco by Michelino, has Dante holding an open book, the Divine Comedy. Behind Dante is a wedding cake with Adam and Eve on the top.  There are some very beautiful mosaics in the ceiling of the Baptistery. There is also a painting of a scary scene from Hell showing devils with horns and snakes coming out their bodies. The city of Florence is dominated by the towers of its many palaces and churches and by the huge dome of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

A Gothic structure with an exterior ornately decorated with red, green, and white marble, the cathedral was begun in 1296 by the Florentine architect Arnolfo di Cambio, continued on a somewhat different plan by his successors, and crowned with the great dome (1420-61), designed by Filippo Brunelleschi. The facade, although not built until late in the 19th century, is faithful in style to the rest of the edifice. The cathedral is the most imposing structure on the right bank of the Arno. 
The Duomo of Florence is one of the most important gothic building in Italy.

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Like many holy places in Europe, there is no way to tell for just how long this site has been revered. Local lore says there has been some sort of shrine on this spot since ancient Roman times. The earliest record of this location is in 1128 when the cathedral on this spot was moved and eventually became the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore.

This cathedral is as much a part of the city as the Palazzo Vecchio, and with good reason. It was designed to be the religious counterweight to the secular Palazzo. But the Palazzo's construction was ...

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