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The San Marco Monastery is located on the square of the same name. The monastery includes the Basilica of St. Mark and the nunnery, which currently functions as a museum.
In 1299, the monastery of the Silvestrins was located on the site of the present monastery.
In 1437 the church and the monastery were transferred to the Dominican monks by Casimo de Medici. At the same time, the reconstruction of the complex began, led by Michelozzo di Bartolomeo. The rebuilding was completed in 1442, although some of the individual works continued later.
The part of the ensemble intended for the residence of monks was completely reconstructed. It consisted of a refectory and a chapter hall, located on the first floor, library and cells – On the second floor. A beautiful garden was laid out on the territory of the monastery, as well as a water and drainage system was built. The building of the temple has undergone minor changes – a tribune and a choir were built in front of the main altar.
During the rebuilding of the basilica, most of the large families in the city opposed the construction, as they owned the chapels located inside the church. Families did not want to give the chapels under the patronage of the Medici. As a result, construction work was suspended in 1442.
Numerous Medici symbols are noted in the rich decoration of the monastery. A greater place in the compositions is given to Saints Damian, Lorenzo, John the Evangelist and Cosmas.
In the years 1441-1444, a room for a library was built. The construction work was supervised by the architect Michelazzo. The library was one of the masterpieces of Renaissance architecture. It served as the basis for the construction of other Renaissance libraries.
In 1453 a strong earthquake severely destroyed the library, but by 1457 it was completely rebuilt.
In 1464 the charitable expenditures for the library were substantially reduced. However, it continued to grow thanks to donors. All the books of the library have been cataloged throughout its long history. In 1500, the library became the largest in Europe. At that time, the collection consisted of more than 1 200 first printed books, manuscripts, sermons and letters of the pontiffs, the statutes of monastic orders, biographies of saints, etc.
In our time, the monastery museum contains many works of art from the early Renaissance. Here are the works of Fra Beato Angelico, Domenico Ghirlandaio, Benozzo Gozzoli, Fra Bartolomeo, Alessi Baldovinetti and others. Particularly interesting are the works of Angelico – `` Madonna with Saints '', `` Annunciation '', `` Last Judgment '' and 'Crucifixion'.
The Monastery of San Marco, along with other attractions in the historic center of Florence, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Topic: Monastery of San Marco in Italy, resort of Florence.