Baptistery Doors, Florence

These are the doors that adorn the eastern side of the Baptistery free for tourists to view and photograph. The bronze panels of Gates of Paradise were like shimmering gold reflecting Florence sunshine that day. Michelangelo referred to these doors as fit to be the “Gates of Paradise” and they are till this date referred to by this name. The ten large separate panels on this door depict 3D scenes from the Old Testament.

The other doors have a grey-black finish and have twenty-eight reliefs, arranged in 7 rows. The frames of the reliefs are designed with foliage and fruit, animals, insects, lizards, and birds. The intersections of the frame work had a head that represents a male or female prophet. The reliefs show scenes from the life of St. John the Baptist and lower reliefs contain representations of virtues, such as Prudence and Fortitude. The reliefs which are visible now on the doors of the Baptistery are copies. The originals, as well as the artists’ sketches and molds, are displayed in the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo.

If you are not hiring any guide it is best to take help of books. I had DK’s Florence and of course the Lonely Planet of Italy. DK’s eyewitness travel has good explanations and detailed pictures too. Unluckily for me I could not see the beautiful interiors of this 1000 year old building. It opens at 12.15pm and I had my tickets for Uffizi at the same time. I had to move on.

See more of the World at: That’s My World
Uffizi, Florence
Florence Cathedral

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