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The Baptistery of St. John, Florence

4.6
#7 of 56 in Historic Sites in Florence
Architectural Building Religious Site
The Baptistery of St. John is one of the oldest buildings in the city, constructed between 1059 and 1128. It's renowned for the three sets of bronze doors. Observe how the eight lower panels of the south doors depict the virtues of hope, faith, charity, humility, fortitude, temperance, justice, and prudence. The most famous set, the east doors, are a copy; the originals are being preserved in the Duomo's museum. You still get a sense of their importance and you can admire the depiction of "The Story of Joseph." Inside the baptistery, be sure to look up at the domed, mosaic ceiling. Plan to visit The Baptistery of St. John and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Florence attractions using our Florence itinerary planner.
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  • The baptistery of San Giovanni in Florence is one of the most beautiful buildings that can be visited in the Tuscan capital. It has a dome richly decorated with mosaics that will make you remain speechless. The octagonal baptistery is very special and further enriches the already wide piazza del Duomo. Usually there is no line to get in and this makes it all the more enjoyable your visit.
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  • The baptistery of San Giovanni is probably the oldest religious building in Florence and also the most symmetrical and harmonious. Its facade bicroma of marble directly forwards to Roman classicism (says that it was built on a temple dedicated to Mars) and influenced many other Romanesque constructions of Tuscany as the Church of San Miniato del Monte or the Abbey of Fiesole. In addition to its incredible bronze doors, which would deserve a treaty party, stand out the impressive mosaics that cover the interior of its dome, executed by Greek artists specially brought from Venice and some locals, represent the apotheosis of the Mannerist phase of Byzantine art. The Pantocrator that presides over the scene of the final judgment is simply majestic.
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  • beautiful, a jewel to enjoy quietly, located in piazza del duomo with the masterpieces of the duomo and Giotto's Bell Tower, in the collection make it one of the most beautiful squares in the world, not to be missed
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  • So much are in one building! Beautiful from inside and outside. You can enter with the same ticket of Duomo.
  • The baptistery is next to the Duomo and the Tower, so you can't miss it. You need a ticket to get in, which you can buy from a ticket point in the square. We went on a Sunday and there was literary no line. That is mainly because people don't stay too long inside, because they don't usually know the history behind it. However, there isn't much to do inside, except for the ceiling, the floor and the tomb of the Antipope, but make sure to read up a bit in its history, because there are no panels inside to explain anything and it would be a shame to miss it. Also, make sure to observe the various doors with their panels as they are most interesting. Last but not least, when inside look above the altar, next to the figure of Jesus the various sinners getting punished. Most interesting! It doesn't take long to visit it and the history makes it worth a visit!
  • Just an outside view to admire its architecture, one of the oldest buildings in Florence city. Well preserved, remarkable to look at.
  • Amazing ceiling with beautiful mosaics. You can sit on a bench inside the baptisery and admire for quite a while. Baptisery has limited hours of opening during weekends (Sunday in particular), that don't overlap with the Santa Fiore basilic's nor the bell tower's timetables. Therefore, make sure to plan in advance seeing the interior of Baptisery first and foremost, as it has the most restrictive timetable!
  • Nice place, a must see place for all tourists who would visit Florence.

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Where to stay in Florence

Variety is not a problem when deciding where to stay in Florence. The compact town center is packed with hotels, hostels, and small inns. The drawback of this upmarket central area is that even family-run B&Bs often cost as much as luxury hotels. For more affordable lodgings, explore the area outside the tourist-driven city center. Staying in one of the city's residential neighborhoods allows you to immerse yourself in the daily life of local Florentines. B&Bs and hotels outside the center offer private parking and spacious rooms, all within walking distance of the main tourist sites.
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