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Old Comments:

2008-04-26 01:21:43
The basilica was built on the site of a previous cathedral, Santa Reparata (locals of Florence continued to call the Cathedral by this former name for some time after reconstruction), and was inspired by the new cathedrals in Pisa and Siena. By the end of the 13th century, the nine-centuries-old church of Santa Reparata was crumbling with age, as attested in documents of that time such as the Nuova Cronica of Giovanni Villani (1276–1348). Furthermore, it had become too small in a period of rapid population expansion. Prosperous Florence also wanted to surpass in grandeur its Tuscan rivals, Pisa and Siena, with a yet more magnificent church, grander in size and more richly adorned. This cathedral was, as a result, the largest in Europe when completed, with room for 30,000 people. It is now only exceeded in size by Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City, Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, the Seville Cathedral, and the Milan Cathedral.