39 minutes ago
This image is of the Florence Cathedral, locally known as Duomo di Firenze. I actually have had the pleasure and the privilege of looking at this cathedral up close. Let me tell the why it is regarded as one of the most important architectural marvels in the history of Architecture.
In the 13th century, Florence was a thriving city, and this city now needed a cathedral. Some space was left empty within the dense city infrastructure to create this cathedral, more specifically, the dome of the cathedral. In 1418 the Opera del Duomo announced a public competition for the construction of the dome with a handsome prize of 200 gold florins—and a shot at eternal fame, basically a renaissance version of Italy's got talent.
Filippo Brunelleschi was chosen as the architect to build this dome. And let me tell this was not an ordinary dome. The usual way to build an arch or dome was to support it with scaffolding called “centring.” However, the open space in the cathedral was 42 metres wide, and the Florentines wanted a tall, soaring dome. All the timber in Tuscany would not have sufficed to make the centring. Brunelleschi ended up building the dome without scaffolding in such a way that it supported itself as the work progressed.
Remember this is a time before cranes, so getting any building material to that height was a huge problem. Brunelleschi's first genius move was creating a pulley system using gears and driven by oxen. He took inspirations and traveled far and wide and really understood how his dome was to be erected. And this man did it. In a time before any machinery, he made a huge dome, different from any the world had seen,in conditions that made it very very difficult.
To be honest, this place is beautiful, and if you ever get a chance, you just have to visit this dome.