The Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore took over 140 years to complete. It's the 3rd largest church in the world. But, it didn't take that long to build because of its size. It took 140 years to build because no one knew how to construct the domed rooftop.
In 1418, over 120 years after the first stone was laid, Florence held a competition to find someone who could successfully build the domed rooftop from the original design. For years, the cathedral remained mostly complete with the exception of it's open roof where the dome would go. The citizens of Florence grew frustrated but they didn't want to change the design. The wanted the work completed so they could show off their grand design and stand out from the surrounding cities. They hoped that the competition would find someone who could find a way to get the job done.
A goldsmith by the name of Filippo Brunelleschi won the competition despite having no prior construction experience. His unique brick herringbone design was simpler and more cost effective than the other solutions. Brunelleschi's design used gravity to his advantage. The interlocking brick design was extremely strong, allowing him to build a dome that would last for centuries. Today, you can visit the cathedral and climb to its rooftop. On your way, be sure to take in Brunelleschi's genius design.
While you're visiting, be sure to use your Duckwyn App to collect your virtual stamp and coin.