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Florence, Italy: Santa Maria del Fiore (il Duomo) September Celebration

Updated on August 30, 2016

il Duomo

Age of Discoveries, undying love, and a sexy alien come together in a compelling tale.

Fra Filippo Lippi's beautiful Mary


WHO is Santa Maria del Fiore?

One of the most spectacular architectural masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance is the dome crowning the Florence cathedral.

Construction of this religious edifice began in 1296 by Arnolfo di Cambio in the Gothic style and was dedicated to Santa Reparata. The structure remained "roofless" for many decades before Filippo Brunelleschi came along and designed the magnificent cupola (dome).

The dome's creation commenced in the summer 1420, but it was only completed in 1436 (minus the lantern, which was added in 1471).

This ambitious project represented the beginning of the humanistic movement commonly known as the "Renaissance," which signaled a rediscovery of building models, philosophical attitudes, and art forms from the classical age.

The cathedral (il Duomo) is dedicated to Saint Mary of the Flowers. Who is she?

During the middle ages, the Virgin Mary was a much celebrated icon. The artistic depictions commonly portray her as a powerful intercessor and helper of the people. As the mother of Jesus, she can protect Christians and make sure that their prayers are heard.

There were many cults dedicated to the veneration of Mary in her many forms. When Florence was founded by the Romans in 52 BCE, they adopted the symbol of the giglio (lily) since so many of these flowers grew in abundance along the Arno River.

Santa Maria del Fiore (Saint Mary of the Flowers) is one of the many aspects of Jesus's mother within the Catholic church, and the version which is celebrated in Florence.

The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, held on September 8, 1296, was the date chosen to lay the foundation of the new church to replace Santa Reparata. Since that fateful day, the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore has not been idle. For seven centuries, it has been working tirelessly to become one of the strongest links between Florence and its amazing history.

As always, thank you for reading.

C. De Melo
Author & Artist


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