|Northern Facade, Bascilica di Santa Maria del Fiore, Florence, Italy © Doug Hickok|
(Velvia slide film)
Few man made structures dominate a city center like the Duomo of Florence. Begun in 1296 and finally completed in 1436 by Brunelleschi, the famous Gothic cathedral towers above the 15th century Renaissance city, a symbol of Florence's religious and secular power. Centuries later, you still get a sense of its immense size with this view down a narrow street toward the Duomo's ornamental facade. The final step in construction was the making of the facade. Marble was quarried from various parts of Italy and transported to Florence to decorate the facade,... from Carrara, white stone, from Prato, green, and from Siena, red. This task was not completed until 1887. The Duomo was truly a long term project!