Florence Off the Beaten Track: The Park with Brunelleschi’s Dome

Thu, 01/09/2020 - 00:00
Miniature reproduction of Brunelleschi's dome in Anconella Park in Florence

Along the western bank of the Arno river, slightly outside the historic center in south-eastern Florence, where few visitors venture, is Anconella Park, Florence’s second largest green space. Florentines come here to stroll, jog or relax by one of the small lakes, take their children to play or partake in one of several sports activities.

For the curious traveler, the most interesting feature of the park is a partially uncovered brick structure with side openings, along Via Villamagna. It is a miniature reproduction of the dome of Florence’s Cathedral, the world-famous cupola by Brunelleschi.

The 1: 5 scale reproduction of the original was made by a prominent Brunelleschi's scholar, Massimo Ricci.

The dome rises for only two-thirds of its real structure so that visitors can observe it inside. To make the miniature dome, the same procedure and the same tools used to make the original dome in the 1400s were used: ropes, tie-rods, hand-raised pulleys, mobile wooden supporting beams.  The copy even precisely reproduces the arrangement of the individual bricks, in a herringbone pattern. All of this allows the visitor to understand how Brunelleschi managed to erect the Cupola.

This scale model is the world’s only open actual representation of Brunelleschi’s dome, and therefore holds considerable cultural and scientific interest.

If you wish to escape the crowds of Florence’s historic center for a while and better understand one of the Renaissance’s great engineering feats, a visit to Anconella Park and the dome’s model may make for pleasant afternoon.

Along the western bank of the Arno river, slightly outside the historic center in south-eastern Florence, where few visitors venture, is Anconella Park, Florence’s second largest green space. Florentines come here to stroll, jog or relax by one of the small lakes, take their children to play or partake in one of several sports activities.

For the curious traveler, the most interesting feature of the park is a partially uncovered brick structure with side openings, along Via Villamagna. It is a miniature reproduction of the dome of Florence’s Cathedral, the world-famous cupola by Brunelleschi.

The 1: 5 scale reproduction of the original was made by a prominent Brunelleschi's scholar, Massimo Ricci.

The dome rises for only two-thirds of its real structure so that visitors can observe it inside. To make the miniature dome, the same procedure and the same tools used to make the original dome in the 1400s were used: ropes, tie-rods, hand-raised pulleys, mobile wooden supporting beams.  The copy even precisely reproduces the arrangement of the individual bricks, in a herringbone pattern. All of this allows the visitor to understand how Brunelleschi managed to erect the Cupola.

This scale model is the world’s only open actual representation of Brunelleschi’s dome, and therefore holds considerable cultural and scientific interest.

If you wish to escape the crowds of Florence’s historic center for a while and better understand one of the Renaissance’s great engineering feats, a visit to Anconella Park and the dome’s model may make for pleasant afternoon.

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