So while my novel put me in Florence
thought I'd share a couple of exterior photos of the Baptistry.
The above are the North Doors
created by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
These were originally the East Doors but moved to the North side.
Ghiberti was 21 when he won the competition
(beating out Brunelleschi!)
and began the commission of the gilded bronze doors
which took him 21 years to finish.
The first two are the Annunciation (always my favorite)
and the Nativity.
The doors to the Baptistry are what Michelangelo called
The Gates of Paradise.
Dante and the members of the Medici family,
as well as most Catholic Florentines,
were baptized in the Baptistry of St. John,
--an octagonal basilica in the Piazza del Duomo
just next to the main Florence Cathedral--
and was built between 1059 and 1128.
Buried within the quatrefoil,
Ghiberti included plants and insects known to be harmful.
In Medieval thinking,
that was a way of keeping evil away.
Next time a few photos of the
gorgeous mosaics that make up the ceiling of the interior.
(Photo copyright: Kirsten Steen)
(Info via Wiki)