|Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy © Doug Hickok|
Many travelers are probably familiar with the famous Cathedral (Duomo) of Florence, either having seen photographs of Brunelleschi's red brick dome towering above the city, or having visited the church when in Florence. Needless to say, the church is an impressive work of art, either from a distance, or up close. This view of the decorative exterior shows the intricate design work of the marble masonry. Whereas the dome took only 16 years to build, the facade took about five centuries to finish, being started in the 14th century and being completed finally in 1887. Talk about a titanic project, the construction of the Duomo is indeed a model of patience and persistence (not unlike the church of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona). These concepts are often difficult to fathom in the immediate gratification society we live in today.