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Florence Baptistery

View the iconic “gates of paradise,” admire the unique architectural structure and study exquisitely detailed mosaics in this incredible 11th-century baptistery.

The Florence Baptistery is a minor basilica dedicated to Florence’s patron saint. Dating back to the 4th or 5th century, it is one of Florence’s oldest buildings. Many notable figures were baptized within its walls. Built in the Florentine Romanesque style, the baptistery flaunts some iconic characteristics. In particular, look for the 15th-century bronze doors crafted by Ghiberti. 

Originally the building was constructed as a cathedral, but in the 12th century it was officially named a baptistery and decorated with the marble and mosaics that you see today. A defining feature of the baptistery is its octagonal shape, eight being a joyful number in Catholicism. From the Piazza del Duomo, gaze up at the magnificent structure clad in geometrically patterned marble.

Admire the three sets of artistic bronze doors that decorate the north, east and south sides of the building. Pay special attention to the eastern doors. They were crafted by Lorenzo Ghiberti when he was only 21 and placed at the important entrance facing the Duomo. Michelangelo once referred to them as the “Gates of Paradise.” The doors you see today are replicas, but you can find the originals in the nearby Museo Dell'Opera Del Duomo.

Enter the baptistery to be stunned by the intricate mosaics. Look up to see a fantastic eight-part dome decorated in mosaics depicting different religious scenes and rich with symbolism. The dome took over 100 years to complete. Turn your attention to the floor and admire the zodiac rose made entirely of marble. The baptistery also contains a few tombs of select individuals, including the famous tomb of Antipope John XXIII.

The baptistery is open every day, but opening hours are different on holy days, including Sundays. Pay one admission price that includes entrance to other attractions in the Duomo, including the Museo Dell'Opera Del Duomo. After touring the baptistery, it is likely you will want to visit the museum as well to see Ghiberti’s original doors. 

A trip to the Florence Baptistery will amaze you with its intricate beauty, no matter your faith or religion. 

There's no place anywhere on the planet quite like Florence Baptistery. So you can make the most of your visit, we've created a list of the best activities:

If you're looking for more activities, have a look at our Florence things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Florence Baptistery


Map

Best Lodging Options Near Florence Baptistery

See all 6,141 Properties near Florence Baptistery
Grand Hotel Cavour ¥10,024
Grand Hotel Cavour

Grand Hotel Cavour

Via Del Proconsolo 3, Florence, FI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Duomo, this family-friendly Florence hotel is steps from Badia Fiorentina and Bargello. Piazza del Duomo and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Florence Campo Di Marte Station is 23 minutes.

    Hotel Spadai ¥10,922
    Hotel Spadai

    Hotel Spadai

    Via dei Martelli, 10, Florence, FI
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Duomo, this spa hotel is steps from Palazzo Medici Riccardi, Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower, and San Lorenzo Church. Piazza del Duomo and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 21 minutes.

      Maxim Axial ¥5,838
      Maxim Axial

      Maxim Axial

      Via Dei Calzaiuoli 11, Florence, FI
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Via de' Calzaiuoli and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower. Piazza della Signoria and Piazza del Duomo are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 11 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 21 minutes.

        Aurum Firenze ¥6,441
        Aurum Firenze

        Aurum Firenze

        Via Nazionale 8/a, Florence
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza del Duomo are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 5-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 16 minutes.

          Orto De Medici Hotel ¥9,355
          Orto De Medici Hotel

          Orto De Medici Hotel

          Via San Gallo 30, Florence, FI
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in San Lorenzo, this romantic hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Piazza San Marco, Statue of David, and Gallery of the Academy of Florence. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Academy of Fine Arts are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.

            Relais Piazza Signoria ¥7,924
            Relais Piazza Signoria

            Relais Piazza Signoria

            Via Vacchereccia 3, Florence, FI
               
              0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Duomo, this apartment building is steps from Via de' Calzaiuoli, Piazza della Signoria, and Palazzo Vecchio. Uffizi Gallery and Ponte Vecchio are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 14 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 22 minutes.

              Hotel Duomo ¥8,811
              Hotel Duomo

              Hotel Duomo

              Piazza Del Duomo 1, Florence, FI
                 
                3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Florence Baptistery. Bargello and Gallery of the Academy of Florence are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 10 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 22 minutes.

                Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio ¥11,776
                Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

                Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio

                Borgo S.Jacopo, 3/r, Florence, FI
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Oltrarno, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Ponte Vecchio, Pitti Palace, and Piazza della Signoria. Uffizi Gallery and Palazzo Vecchio are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 16 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 23 minutes.