The Baptistery of San Giovanni Battista (patron of the city of Florence) is with the Cathedral and the Campanile di Giotto, a gorgeous unicum, comparable to the Piazza dei Miracoli of Pisa.
It is an octagonal building covered with alternated white and green marbles that in its style and architectural elements (columns, capitals, the geometry of spaces ...) refers to the classic taste, revitalized by the Renaissance.
Outside the visitor can admire the both artistic and symbolic value of the three bronze doors by Andrea Pisano, to the south, and Lorenzo Ghiberti, to the north and to the east (the famous "Porta del Paradiso"): the gilded bronze panels relate episodes respectively from the life of John the Baptist, the New Testament and the Old Testament.
Inside, the dome strikes the visitor with the great mosaic by Coppo di Marcovaldo depicting the Last Judgment, with the classic division between the blessed and the damned souls around a majestic Christ. The poet Dante Alighieri, for the description of Inferno in his "Divina Comedia", was probably inspired just by this Worldview, spread throughout the medieval Christian world.
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