These seminars unveil the knowledge, traditional materials, conservation and construction techniques employed by the workers of Santa Maria del Fiore.



and its applications in the construction of the Cathedral - from an idea of Samuele Caciagli

With Ambra Falabella who holds a degree in diagnostics and conservation of cultural properties, Carlo Tacconi, construction site supervisor, and Sandro Schievenin, coordinator and scaffolder of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore. Lime is a building material that has been known since antiquity. It is obtained by firing calcareous stones at very high temperatures, including marble, travertine, and other rocks containing calcium carbonate. Used as cement in building the Cathedral and in making precious manufactures, its characteristics and qualities vary considerably depending on the raw material from which it is made and on the “recipes” various workers use to make it. It is indeed told that Filippo Brunelleschi trusted only the lime made by the master mason Martino della Calcina. This material is still used by the masters of Santa Maria del Fiore in restoring and maintaining the entire architectural complex.

1st Lime: properties, uses, and production

This workshop is dedicated to enlarging upon the binding properties of lime, the phases of its production, and the materials that are produced from it. Particular attention will be devoted to analysing the artificial stone used in making copies of the panels and the statues of the Bell Tower. The workshop plans to make various samples of lime obtained from firing different raw materials with the goal of learning to grasp especially the physical differences of limes produced from different types of calcareous stone.

2nd Lime: bricks, herringbone, and corda blanda

The workshop is dedicated to the analysis and construction methods of the Dome, starting from the materials and the masonry techniques that were employed and the machines that were built. Participants of this workshop and the workmenof the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore will learn about the realisation of the works in masonry of Brunelleschi’s dome. The herringbone technique, corda blanda (“slack-line”) masonry, brickwork, and other original elements will be illustrated. At the end of the workshop, the participants will see some of the tools used at the worksite that are today held in the Museum.

3rd The great Dome, genius, technique, and materials in the construction of the largest masonry dome ever built

The workshop starts with a visit to the building yard where participants can observe several special pieces used for the regimentation of water. It continues with a visit to the Dome* and the terraces of the Cathedral to expand on the system of water management, ageing brickwork, and the various architectural solutions of roofing.

  • Sede: Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
  • Durata: 3/2- hour sessions
  • Costo: € 15.00 per participant
  • Periodo: october 2018 - june 2019
  • Classi: upper schools
The Museum as at work of art

The Museum as at work of art

the spectacle of beauty in the service of the sacred

A lecture in museology that departs from the experience of the Museo del Duomo di Firenze to teach how to deconstruct the sense and meanings behind a museum’s layout and the decisions concerning the public and the collection. From the nineteenth-century layout to the new exhibition itinerary: sense and context of a heritage that is sacred and, at the same time, aesthetic and civic. The lesson concludes with a visit to the principal rooms of the Museum.

  • Sede: Museo dell'Opera del Duomo
  • Durata: 1h30 session
  • Costo: € 4.00 per participant
  • Periodo: october 2018 - june 2019
  • Classi: upper school classes

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