Brunelleschi's Dome: introduction
Initiated in 1420, the construction of the dome of the Cathedral of Florence, Santa Maria del Fiore, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, was completed in 1436. An architectural feat of immense significance, all the more so because Brunelleschi invented new techniques based on his knowledge of Roman buildings, whilst, at the same time, taking into consideration a variety of technical, aesthetic and cultural issues. The truly innovative feature was that the dome was built in such a way as to support its own weight. The diameter of 41,50 meters came close to the maximum consented for the realisation of any dome.
The resulting structure was a modern double shelled dome, with the external shell protecting the inner shell from the atmospheric conditions, this latter linked to the external one by a series of ribs. The vaults of the Dome were decorated with a fresco by Giorgio Vasari and Federico Zuccari depicting "The Last Judgement". Today, the Dome is the most famous construction in Florence, symbol of the great cultural traditions of the city.