Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Italy Trip Blog #23: Brunelleschi's Dome - Fun Facts

Brunelleschi's Dome
Welcome to the 23rd blog of our Italy tour. This blog looks at fun facts about Brunelleschi's Dome of the Cathedral of Florence.
 While touring it we learns some interesting facts about it. The dome was 150 feet across and 180 feet high.

1) The basilica was built in 1296 and the place where the dome now sits was an open roof. Under it was an altar where the sun and rain came in. It wasn't until 1418 that a plan for a roof or dome was made. The Basilica that houses Brunelleschi's famous Dome took 200 years to build, and it was purposely built to outdo other cities' basilicas.
Looking up from under the dome

2) In 1418 the worried Florentine fathers announced a contest for the ideal dome design, with a handsome prize of 200 gold florins—and a shot at eternal fame—for the winner.

3) Brunelleschi invented a three-speed hoist with an intricate system of gears, pulleys, screws, and driveshafts, powered by a single yoke of oxen turning a wooden tiller. It used a special rope 600 feet long and weighing over a thousand pounds!  He also made other lifting machines, including the castello, a 65-foot-tall crane with a series of counterweights and hand screws to move loads laterally once they’d been raised to the right height.

perspective to show height of dome
4)  The elders of the town thought that anyone could finish the dome so Brunelleschi, who designed it pretended to be sick for a week and the work stopped. The elders thought they could get someone else to finish it because they said that Brunelleschi was being paid too much. He wound up finishing it.

Rob and Tom at dome top
5) Michelangelo called the outside of the dome a "cricket cage" so the architect who was building it was so offended he stopped after only 2 of the 8 sides (it was an octagon). He left it unfinished.

6) The dome is an octagon because it symbolizes 7 days that god created and the 8th day is a non-ending day.


OUR SHORT VIDEO inside the dome...

Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next