Categories

Disclaimer

De meningen ge-uit door medewerkers en studenten van de TU Delft en de commentaren die zijn gegeven reflecteren niet perse de mening(en) van de TU Delft. De TU Delft is dan ook niet verantwoordelijk voor de inhoud van hetgeen op de TU Delft weblogs zichtbaar is. Wel vindt de TU Delft het belangrijk - en ook waarde toevoegend - dat medewerkers en studenten op deze, door de TU Delft gefaciliteerde, omgeving hun mening kunnen geven.

Florence – Firenze

This is of course my wife to decide where to go for a vacation. Yet I could not choose a better destination to investigate the links between science and faith, Firenze citta magnifica, that has been decaying mightly for last four houndred years but has not even reached the steepest moment of decay. Thereby presenting a good example to all Western civilizations.

Take Duomo. This is a multi-functional bulding. One of the main functions is kept from tourist crowds. To access it, you need to cross several barriers: some being in your soul, some in the Duomo. For the latter, you subsequenty talk to three guards. Those are responsive, although not in English. Finally, you get close to the relics, speaking scientifically, remains of human beings preserved for veneration. For us Orhodox the most important object was the head of St. John Chysostomos.  The relics are difficult to see through jewelry of vessels and boxes. No board helps to recognize them. At some stage you  recognize that the whole Duomo
is just a shell, an outer box to keep the boxes with relics. Heavenly perfect and humaly unperfect. Perhaps this is why the Florentians hardly cared about finishing it: its facade has been a painted piece of canvas for three centuries. On a more phylosophical note: are we not just shells to keep our faith in?

And now we want more science. Hit the Museum of History of Science, by far the eldest one: it has been started in 1562. Owing to endless restauro, you can see only a third of the collection ( so the entance fee is very scientifically reduced by a third). Still there is a large amount of old sci instruments from XVI to XIX century, much more than here in Delft. Yet no the original telescope of Galileo promiced. There is another thing missed on display. By tradition of times of relative harmony between science and faith, they keep the middle finger from the right hand of Galileo. Perhaps I should have argued with the guards that I am a professor of physics and ought to venerate the remain. I did not dare and also wanted to spare my wife. She has been alreary slightly confused about motivations of researches by an eldest exposure in the museum. That was a functional celestial globe. As a detail, it is being erected by a satyr, and the globe is not the only thing the satyr has erected.

Let me finish with better example of the harmony passed. In old sacristy of San Lorenzo, the eldest church in the town, one finds a detailed fresco that reproduces stars and planets in the sky with scientific accuracy. From the planet positions one reads the date: its Jule 4, 1442. Yet the significance of the date is not clear yet: more research is needed in this direction…

Be Sociable, Share!

6 comments

I have visited the museum in Florence too (while living in Pisa) and noticed that it is an OK museum if you are already very interested in the history of science and if you can provide your own explanations for most of the things they have on show. But if you were new to the field, it would be a complete disaster.

Thanks to share this information

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

do you have picture of the building?

Thankiossk Cool!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

© 2011 TU Delft