After finishing the cupola in 1436, Brunelleschi started working on the "lanterna" as the crowning element. With the addition of the "lanterna" at the top, the total height of the building went up from 91 meters to 114.5 meters.
Pope Eugenius IV consecrated the cathedral on March 25, 1436.
On July 17, 1600, a lightning strike hit the ball, causing it to crash to the ground. An even larger one was installed two years later, in 1602.
The giant golden ball and cross at the top of the "lanterna" -- crafted in the workshop of the famous Verrocchio -- was so heavy that Leonardo Da Vinci had to design a special crane to help mount it on top of the building.
It was completed in 1446, when the great master died. Additional embellishments to the "lanterna" were made later to its interior (1461) and with the addition of a giant golden ball and cross on top (1474).
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