Travel to Italy: Florence: Churches: Photo 27
Stairs march straight up the shell of the inner dome, which covers an octagon 43 meters in diameter. The dome was too high to be supported by scaffolding, and so Brunelleschi built a self-supporting inner and outer dome--the two bonded together with ribs like the ones shown here on the right and left. The design obviated the need for flying buttresses, which would have been needed to resist lateral thrusting in a single dome. Still, the design forced Brunelleschi to abandon the geometrically preferred hemispherical dome and to substitute a slightly pointed or ogival one.
Short link for this page: http://www.greatmirror.com?justpic=8185
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