My worship and my witness.
I started photographing churches as "The House of God" as part of my Year 2000 Project and have continued ever since. This blog is a tribute to the congregations who built these churches and that keep open the doors of these places of Christian renewal and service. Thanks be to God.
"The Baptistery is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128 in the Florentine Romanesque style. Although the Florentine style did not spread across Italy as widely as the Pisan Romanesque or Lombard styles, its influence was decisive for the subsequent development of architecture, as it formed the basis from which Francesco Talenti, Leon Battista Alberti, Filippo Brunelleschi, and the other architects created Renaissance architecture. In the case of the Florentine Romanesque, one can speak of "proto-renaissance", but at the same time an extreme survival of the late antique architectural tradition in Italy, as in the cases of the Basilica of San Salvatore in Spoleto, the Temple of Clitumnus, the church of Sant'Alessandro in Lucca.
"The Baptistry is renowned for its three sets of artistically importantbronze doors with relief sculptures. The south doors were created byAndrea Pisano and the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti.The east doors were dubbed by Michelangelo the Gates of Paradise.
"The Italian poet Dante and many other notable Renaissance figures, including members of the Medici family, were baptized in this baptistry. In fact, until the end of the nineteenth century, all Catholic Florentines were baptized here.
"The octagon had been a common shape for baptisteries for many centuries since early Christian times. The number eight is a symbol of regeneration in Christianity, signifying the six days of creation, the Day of Rest, and a day of re-creation through the Sacrament of Baptism.
"The Baptistry has eight equal sides with a rectangular addition on the west side. The sides, originally constructed in sandstone, are clad in geometrically patterned colored marble, white Carrara marble with green Prato marble inlay, reworked in Romanesque style between 1059 and 1128.
Gates of Paradise
The north doors, the Gates of Paradise..." took Ghiberti 21 years to complete... These gilded bronze doors consist of twenty-eight panels, with twenty panels depicting the life of Christ from the New Testament. The eight lower panels show the four evangelists and the Church Fathers Saint Ambrose, Saint Jerome, Saint Gregory and Saint Augustine." (Link.)
Photos: Taken in Florence, Italy on iPhone by RW while en route to the 2016