Brunelleschi’s Dome

Happy birthday to Brunelleschi’s Dome: in 2020 it is six hundred years old


Beautiful and impossible. So much so that six hundred years after its design, it is still not entirely clear how it stands up.

2020 will also be the year of the dome of Santa Maria del Fiore. Commissioned in Brunelleschi on April 16, 1420, it was started on August 7 of the same year and completed after 16 years.

Professor Massimo Ricci is one of the greatest connoisseurs in the world of the secrets of Messer Filippo, who has been studying for 40 years.
Professor Ricci, how’s the dome?
“In excellent health. Recently an introspection was carried out inside the bricks of the shell and we saw that the mortar is perfect and the bricks the same. In short, it is in perfect condition”.
But why is it such a brilliant work?
“Because Brunelleschi used a masonry system that made it possible to create an octagonal dome without reinforcement, self-supporting, capable of supporting itself during construction”.
The famous fish bone?
“Exactly, it is Brunelleschi’s first important secret, a device that allowed masons to always have a reference on the positioning of bricks. But it is not the only one”.
Is it true that he did everything to hide his system?
“Yes, to the point of fixing some bricks with mortar by making false grooves on them, to make people believe that they were placed in the opposite direction to the real one”.
What would you ideally wish for this masterpiece?
“Let’s put it this way: I hope that the Dome, the daughter of man’s intelligence, will become the symbol of our society.”


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