- Duomo, Baptistery, and Campanile. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
The Cathedral (or Duomo) of Florence is of the Gothic style and dates to the 12th century A.D. The church, along with the baptistery, and the campanile (bell tower) have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The bronze baptistery doors, often designated as the Gates of Paradise, was designed by Lorenzo Ghiberti in the early 1400s. The gates we see today are reproductions.
In the Middle Ages Bibles were not available to the common people. One of the ways the Bible was taught was through the stained glass windows, wood carvings, and cast works such as the doors of the baptistery. The panel in the photo below shows the Israelites crossing the Jordan, and the capture of Jericho (Joshua 3-6). Remember that for the Western World those were the Dark Ages.
- Baptistery panel showing capture of Jeriocho. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
There is more that should be said about Florence, but we arrived in Rome last evening. Today and tomorrow will be filled with activity in Rome.
Piazza della Signoria in Florence with Savonarola marker showing. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.
Yesterday morning I visited the Piazza della Signoria in Florence, Italy. I think many people walk through this Piazza to get to the Uffizi Gallery and never notice the plaque about Savonarola. Sometimes groups of people were standing on the plaque. When it was clear, one man walked up and said to his companions “Who’s that?” The group walked on without an answer.
Daniel M. Madden says,
In the lovely Piazza della Signoria, the political forum of Florence in all ages, Savonarola arranged a huge bonfire in 1497 so that penitents won over by his words could do away with their wigs, perfumes, lotions, powers and other accouterments of an easy way of life. He himself was burned to death in the same piazza a year later as a heretic. The spot where he died is marked with a plaque. It is not far from the copy of Michelangelo’s statue of “David.” (A Religious Guide to Europe)
One may say anything he wishes as long as he does not step on the toes of those in authority. Jesus faced this problem when He dealt with the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem.
“If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and our nation.” (John 11:48 ESV)
Here is a closeup of the plaque marking the spot where Savonarola died.
Plaque marking spot where Savonarola died. Photo by Ferrell Jenkins.