Baptistery of San Giovanni, Florence

Octagonal baptistery

Octagonal baptistery

This is the oldest building in Florence. It served as the city’s first cathedral as early as 9th century AD.

Columns and unique floor

Columns and unique floor

The interior’s ancient granite columns are believed to have come from the city’s old Roman capitol and the pavement mosaic likely belonged to an old Roman bakery.

Main entrance

Main entrance

Façade details

Façade details

The exterior was embellished in the 11th century and the dome was added in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Mosaic dome

Mosaic dome

The interior’s mosaic ceiling is the only large-scale mosaic in the city and was inspired by Venetian trends.

Interior detail

Interior detail

South doors

South doors

In the 14th century, a majestic entrance was added: the bronze, 28-panel south doors that narrate John the Baptist’s (patron saint of Florence) life.

North doors

North doors

The other doors were not completed until the a century later, thanks to a plague outbreak and general political turmoil. The north door shows the Sacrifice of Isaac, and is an offering to celebrate the passing of the Black Death.

The stunning east doors

The stunning east doors

The east doors are the most magnificent. They took 27 years to complete and depict Old Testament scenes.

Piazza del Duomo, Firenze, Italy
Open 11:15 a.m. – 7 p.m.

, , ,