Wednesday, December 31, 2008

FLORENCE…Brunelleschi’s Dome

I can’t write of my recent time in Florence without paying homage to the Duomo and the amazing dome designed by Brunelleschi.

This was of special interest for my son. He is an architect and could appreciate all the structural and aesthetic problems that went into the building of the dome. He couldn’t believe that we were actually there ... following in the steps of the builders and of Brunelleschi himself.

I couldn’t believe it for another reason. We were about to take the 463 steps to the top of the Dome and I was now 7 years older than the last time I’d made that difficult climb. Would I make it to the top?

Well, I did, but it was slow going. I stopped many times along the way to peek out of the tiny windows that dotted the walls... giving me a chance to catch my breath and to view Florence from a variety of angles.

The dome consists of two layers, an inner dome spanning the diameter and a parallel outer shell to protect it from the weather and give it a more pleasing external form.

After climbing up to the dome itself we found that we could walk the interior of the cupola and we got a very close look at the “Last Judgement” fresco, among others. Then it was a climb through the shell of the dome and we were outside.

It was a highlight of our trip to Italy to be standing high above the city of Florence on this magnificent day in November. I’m sure that neither of us will ever forget it.


Blogger Chancy said...


I love your photo of the Duomo. When we were in Florence some years back we had dinner at a restaurant that had a view of the Duomo from their rooftop. It was a clear night and we had a wonderful view of the lighted dome, so close I felt I could reach out and touch it. So lovely.

9:03 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

That's a fine memory to start the NY with. Be well, friend.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

I love great architecture that was built of the ages. So much of what is built today is for 50 years and no more. I have known many an award winning church buildings that ended up with a leaking roof within a few years.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Scott W said...

Happy New Year, Ginnie!

12:43 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

When we were there in 2006, I wanted so badly to climb that staircase! I was out-voted by mr. kenju and our daughter, so we passed up that opportunity. I'm glad you got to do it again. Happy New Year, Ginnie!

8:57 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

It looks like an architect's dream. Happy New Year to you Ginnie. I look forward to more great posts from you in the coming year.

7:35 AM  
Blogger robin ann mcintosh said...

happy 2009, Ginnie! It was a pleasure reading your blog in 2008.

11:18 AM  
Blogger RoyalTLady said...


I have just tagged you...please check it out in my blog...

7:50 PM  
Blogger KGMom said...

Several years ago, my daughter (art history major) gave me a little book--titled Brunelleschi's Dome.
What a fascinating read. How it was designed, and how it was built. And all the politics in there too!

4:13 PM  

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