Events and people in over 260,000 days of history

19th century
22 February 1818

The Secular Delegation for the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore is established by grand-ducal decree with the task of supervising the maintenance and conservation of the cathedral and baptistry. The Delegation comprises the President of the Accademia delle Belle Arti, the Gonfaloniere of Florence and a Resident Deputy.


Opera architect Giuseppe Cacialli makes a new wooden main door for the cathedral (now in Santa Croce). Cacialli is also responsible for the two smaller doors on the façade, both of which are now on the south side of the cathedral.


Architect Gaetano Baccani radically renovates the interior of the cathedral, culminating in the partial removal of Baccio Bandinelli's choir.


A "Florentine Association for the Cathedral Façade" is established, though it is later rechristened the "Delegation for the Promotion of the Façade".


The bell tower receives its first lightning conductor, designed by Scolopian Fathers Giovanni Antonelli and Filippo Cecchi.

18 apr 1859

The first competition is held for the new cathedral façade.

22 April 1860

King of Italy Victor Emmanuel II lays the foundation stone of the new cathedral façade even though there is as yet no design for it.


The competition for a new cathedral façade is reopened after a long break during the Grand Duchy of Tuscany's unification with the new Kingdom of Italy. There is no winning design.


A second competition for the new façade is won by Emilio De Fabris, yet the project is abandoned on account of the bitter criticism levelled at it both in Italy and abroad.


Giovanni Antonelli and Filippo Cecchi from the Osservatorio Ximeniano conduct the first experiment with Foucault's pendulum in the cathedral.


The third competition for a new façade is won once again by Emilio De Fabris.

11 March 1869

Emilio De Fabris is appointed to the post of Opera architect and commissioned to design and build the new façade.

24 June 1871

Work begins on the cathedral façade.

23 June 1883

Emilio De Fabris dies. Luigi Del Moro takes his place as Opera architect and supervises the ongoing work on the cathedral façade.

12 May 1887

The cathedral façade is unveiled.

13 December 1888

A competition for the two bronze side doors on the façade is won by Augusto Passaglia and by the brothers Amos and Giuseppe Cassioli.

3 May 1891

The Museo dell'Opera del Duomo is inaugurated in the rooms of the historical residence on Piazza del Duomo to a layout designed by Luigi Del Moro.

4 April 1897

Inauguration of the north door on the façade of the cathedral, designed by Augusto Passaglia.

23 June 1897

Opera architect Luigi Del Moro dies. Giuseppe Castellucci is appointed to replace him.

24 June 1899

Inauguration of the south door on the façade of the cathedral, designed by the Cassioli brothers.

20th century