Santa Maria del Fiore, the world’s largest complex of historic buildings protected and preserved by the private sector
The Santa Maria del Fiore complex of historic buildings in Florence holds the record for being the largest of its kind in the world cared for by the private sector, or more specifically by the “Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore”, an institution founded far back in 1296 by the arts and guilds of the city to oversee the construction of the new Cathedral of Florence and its Campanile.
The Santa Maria del Fiore Complex offers the highest concentration of art conceived for a single location. Nowhere else in the Western World masters of all times left their artistic marks in a more durable way, and had such a long lasting impact on the development of Western Culture.
The monumental complex comprises the Baptistery of Saint John – probably the oldest monument in Florence - the Bell Tower, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore with Brunelleschi’s Dome, the Crypt of Santa Reparata, Giotto’s Campanile, the Museo dell’Opera and many other historical buildings, surrounding the square.
It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982 when became site n. 174 of the UNESCO list thanks to its history, culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments.