The exterior of the Baptistry is also amazing. It is of course famous for the Ghiberti bronze doors on the north side -- all polished and shiny, they are constantly surrounded by a herd of tourists. But around each corner of the octagonal building is a remarkable set of niches and relations created by the distinctive green & white marble.
High on a hill overlooking Florence is another magnificent place, San Miniato Al Monte, completed in 1207 and formally influenced by the Baptistry. Here we see a large-scale improvisation on many of the elements that make the Baptistry such a special place.