Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Italy, resort of Florence (Topic)

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Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Italy, resort of Florence

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San Miniato al Monte is one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in the Tuscany region.

Miniato was the first saint in Florence – according to the legend of Armenian origin. Initially, Miniato was callous, rich and wasteful, but soon changed his mind and hid in a cave, where he lived until Emperor Decius ordered the saint to be put to death. Wild animals did not tear the saint to pieces, the fire was constantly extinguished, after which it was decided to chop off Miniato's head. After the execution, the saint raised his head from the ground and set off for his native cave. In the 4th century, a chapel was erected in the cave, which was converted into a church in 1018.

Currently, on the hill of Monte alle Croci there is a temple with a bell tower of the 16th century, which was damaged in 1530 during the siege, the Bishops' Palace, numerous fortifications, and a memorial cemetery.

The basilica has three naves without a transept with open rafters. The western facade of the lower tier is divided by five arches. The middle arch and the two outer ones have doorways. The two intermediate arches are decorated with multi-colored marble panels. The slopes of the side naves are covered with oblique hatching, and the end of the central nave is decorated with circles and rectangles. In the pediment, the motif of the arches is repeated again, but only in the form of an ornament. The upper part is decorated with 12th century mosaics.

The interior of the church is an excellent example of Romanesque-Florentine architecture. The floor of the central nave is decorated with marble mosaics depicting the signs of the zodiac and symbolic animals. On the walls you can see fragments of frescoes dated XIII – XIV centuries.

Particularly noteworthy is the crypt, surrounded by a lattice made of wrought iron. The altar contains the relics of Saint Minato. The vaults of the crypt are decorated with the remains of frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi. Admiration is also caused by the Presbytery with its pulpit and carved wooden seats.

The Chapel of the Portuguese Cardinal is located to the left of the Presbytery. The chapel was painted by Antonio Manetti and decorated by Luca della Robbia. On the right you can see the tombstone of the cardinal, made by Antonio Rossellino. In the central part of the basilica there is the Chapel of the Crucifixion by Michelazzo.

Next to the temple is a cemetery created by Hans von Bartels. In 1426, an elegant monastery was planned next to the church. In 1295, the monastery was completed, but soon abandoned and used as barracks and a hospital. The complex was surrounded by powerful walls built by Michelangelo in haste during the siege. These walls now surround the cemetery, which was closed in 1854.


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Topic: Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Italy, resort of Florence.Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Italy, resort of Florence

Author: Kelly Costine