As one of the oldest buildings in Florence, The Baptistery of St John has stood in the centre of the city since the 12th century, although it is built on the site of a much older religious building dating back to at least the 5th century. Often overshadowed by its more famous neighbour, the Florence Duomo, The Baptistery was hugely important to the religious life of the city, acting as the place of all baptisms of catholic Florentines until the 19th century.
Constructed of white and green marble in an octagonal design, The Baptistery is now most famous for its 3 huge sets of intricately carved doors depicting biblical scenes which date back to the 14th and 15th century and were designed and made by such famous renaissance artists as Ghiberti and Pisano. Ghiberti’s eastern doors were considered such a masterpiece that Michelangelo famously stated they were beautiful enough to be used as the ‘Gates of Paradise’ itself.
The interior of the building is no less stunning, with the altar alone taking over 100 years for the silversmiths of Florence to complete. A visit to The Baptistery of St John is a truly humbling experience, and one that you will never forget.
Tuesday-Friday: 8:15am-10:15am, 11:15am-7:30pm
Included in the cost of a ticket to the Duomo which is €18/person. Valid for entry 72 hours after the first scan.
Vecchietti or Santa Maria Maggiore bus stops.