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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. 

Popular Activities at Florence Baptistery

There are loads of fun ways to experience Florence Baptistery. Here's a list of some of the most popular:

If you're looking for more options, 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 5,538 Properties near Florence Baptistery
c-hotels Ambasciatori ¥12,326
c-hotels Ambasciatori

c-hotels Ambasciatori

Via Luigi Alamanni 3, Florence, FI
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Santa Maria Novella, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Via Faenza, Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum, and Fortezza da Basso. Florence Baptistery and San Lorenzo Church are also within 15 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 3-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 11 minutes.

    Hotel Pitti Palace al Ponte Vecchio ¥27,237
    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.

      Grand Hotel Baglioni ¥14,356
      Grand Hotel Baglioni

      Grand Hotel Baglioni

      Piazza Unita Italiana 6, Florence, FI
         
        4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Duomo, this boutique hotel is steps from Via Faenza and Santa Maria Novella Basilica and Museum. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is only a 4-minute walk and Porta al Prato Station is 15 minutes.

        Grand Hotel Cavour ¥15,030
        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.

          TSH Florence Lavagnini ¥10,067
          TSH Florence Lavagnini

          TSH Florence Lavagnini

          Viale Spartaco Lavagnini 70 72, Florence
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in San Lorenzo, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Gallery of the Academy of Florence and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and Piazza della Signoria are also within 1 mi (2 km). Florence Statuto Station is 9 minutes by foot and Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 12 minutes.

            Hotel Laurus al Duomo ¥26,873
            Hotel Laurus al Duomo

            Hotel Laurus al Duomo

            Via Cerretani, 54r, Florence, FI
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Duomo, this hotel is steps from Via de' Tornabuoni and Florence Baptistery. Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Flower and San Lorenzo Church are also within 5 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 6 minutes by foot and Porta al Prato Station is 19 minutes.

              Maxim Axial ¥9,893
              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, Florence Baptistery, 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.

                Orto De Medici Hotel ¥14,101
                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, Gallery of the Academy of Florence, and Statue of David. San Lorenzo Church and Florence Baptistery are also within 10 minutes. Florence Santa Maria Novella Station is 13 minutes by foot and Florence Statuto Station is 17 minutes.