The Duomo of Florence and the artistic masterpieces it contains are famous the world over. However, few people know that it also houses valuable scientific instruments, such as the great gnomon designed by the mathematician Paolo Dal PozzoToscanelli. Constructed in the fifteenth century and installed at a height of 90 metres at the summit of Brunelleschi’s cupola, it is the one of the tallest gnomons known to exist. It projects the image of the Sun onto the pavement beneath at the time of transit through the local meridian on the days around the summer solstice.
This book tells the story of this extraordinary astronomical instrument which was used for scientific purposes for over three hundred years, offering fascinating insights into both the history of astronomy and that of the Cathedral itself.