Perhaps the most well-known aspect of the Baptistry are the doors. There are three sets of bronze doors, all with relief sculptures. The south doors were crafted by Andrea Pisano and depict scenes from the life of St. John the baptist. The east and north doors were crafted by Lorenzo Ghiberti. The north doors depict scenes from the life of Christ. The east doors depict scenes from the old testament and were dubbed by Michelangelo as the "Gates of Paradise". The "Gates of Paradise" that are on the Baptistry are a copy, not the originals. The original doors are located in the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo - the museum that houses artwork and other artifacts from the Duomo - which is located in a building behind the church in the Piazza.
|A few panels of the "Gates of Paradise"|
The Baptistry also contains the tomb of Antipope John XXIII, which was crafted by Donatello and Michelozzo Michelozzi.
|Is it the Pope? Nope! It's the Antipope!|
It will cost you 4 euro for a ticket to enter the Baptistry, but it's well worth it. We spent close to an hour in the small building, spending a lot of time just sitting in front of the altar and looking up at the ceiling. It's something that you really have to see with your own eyes to appreciate. When the sunlight enters the little windows at the top of the building and it hits the gilded mosaic, it gives the whole room a very warm glow.
|The Baptism of Christ - sculptures located above the Gates of Paradise|