on December 6, 2000
The octagonal Battistero, situated directly across from Il Duomo, dates back to at least the 6th century. One of the oldest buildings still standing in Firenze, it probably was constructed on top of an ancient Roman palace. Inside, the Baptistery is pretty unimpressive except for the beautiful mosaics that reside on the oddly angled ceiling. The truth of the matter is that it seems fairly empty and cold.
The real splendor of the Battistero is the large bronze doors that lead into the building. The southern doors were commisioned first, and designed by the busy artist Pisano. The northern and truy wonderful eastern doors were both created by Ghiberti. The door panels depict many biblical stories, and the eastern doors, also referred to as the Gates of Paradise, have some amazing detail in their depiction of Old Testament histories.
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