You can definitely see the Ottoman influence here. The color scheme (green, white, pink) is unlike most European basilicas, and the shape is very geometric ("star-shaped," pointed, or squarish) like many mosques.
I know Mrs. Quinet said the basilica is small compared to St. Peter's (which is true), but from the typical human eye-level it's still incredibly massive.
Ghiberti's "Gate's of Paradise"
As I said in class, Michelangelo stated that when he died he hoped he'd see those gates in Heaven. That's one heck of a compliment! These doors are absolutely beautiful, you could see their radiance from many feet away. It was incredibly difficult to even take this photo. You can really appreciate Ghiberti's talent by these bronze "reliefs."
This is the inside of the basilica. I have to admit that I was truly shocked when I walked inside. From the external architecture I was convinced the inside would be just as ornate. However, as you can see, the inside shows the transition from gothic to renaissance architecture.
One of the frescos on the ceiling of the dome. The rest of the basilica is relatively plain except for a few frescos here and there.
This basilica reminds me a lot of Basilica di San Domenico in Siena. For those of you who aren't familiar with Siena, it's a relatively large Italian city. It's the focus of the famous italian festival "Palio di Siena" depicted in Under The Tuscan Sun (a fantastic movie which I highly recommend seeing). It's most known for the horse race that takes place in the main plaza, but here's the kick - the race is done backwards. Yep, the horses race clockwise. Anyway, here's some pictures of the basilica that I thought resembled the Duomo. Externally the basilica is similar, but less gothic and more ottoman and renaissance. The inside, however, it VASTLY different from the Duomo. It's more ornate, for one, and much more influenced by Ottoman and Renaissance ideals. The style of frescos changed as well. The cathedral is much darker - something even I have never seen before.
This is Palio di Siena (the plaza I was talking about). The reason the street rises from the middle is due to the horse races; it makes it much more treacherous (and exciting) for the riders to be racing at a slant and bareback.