Art · Discover · Florence · history · Italy · Uncategorized

Discover – The angry bull on the Cathedral

The Cathedral of Florence – Santa Maria del Fiore. There’s more than meets the eye to this historical construction, and as soon as you scratch the surface it seems you open door after door into the many details it hides at first glance.

On the left side of the cathedral, just above the Porta della Mandorla is a bulls head, looking rather aggressively out towards something down below. This unusual decoration is still a hot topic of debate, with two equally believable theories. The first is that it’s a tribute to the animals which were used during the construction of the Cathedral, but the second is far more interesting…

During the construction, one of the stonemasons had an affair with the wife of a shop keeper in the neighbourhood. When her husband found out about the betrayal, he lodged a complaint to the clerical court, consequently ending the affair. Heartbroken, the stonemason sought revenge and went about creating a passive aggressive symbol of his love right on the Cathedral. The mason placed the bulls head, so that the horns of the animal were pointing right at the shop of the husband, as a reminder of who his wife truly loved.

Whatever the bull symbolises, we shall never know…

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