Santa Croce Florence: an Italian culture “Hall of Fame”

//Santa Croce Florence: an Italian culture “Hall of Fame”
  • santa croce florence - itsflorence

The Santa Croce Florence Basilica is a Franciscan church, one of the three related to the main medieval Mendicant Orders, along with Santo Spirito (Holy Spirit, Augustinian) and Santa Maria Novella (the “new” Saint Mary, Dominican).

As it often happens in Florence, Santa Croce has a long history and many stories to tell: it’s not just (!!!) an unchanging artefact, but a set, and sometimes a protagonist, for important events of the Florence history along seven centuries.

But let’s start from the beginning…

Santa Croce Florence… The second

And, as it often happens in Florence (the already mentioned Santa Maria Novella, or the Duomo, for example), the foundation of Santa Croce is a complete overhaul of a preexisting building.

According to a legend, the “first” Santa Croce church was founded by St Francis (1181/1182 – 1226).

The current building foundation started in 1294. The architect in charge is one of the pre-Renaissance Florence “big names”: Arnolfo di Cambio.

The building will take – again: as usual in the Medieval / Renaissance fabricerie, the “fabrics” of the cathedrals – a lot of time: Santa Croce will be consecrated in 1442 by Pope Eugene IV (1383 – 1447).

The church project has the severity appropriate to the largest Franciscan church in the world, but Santa Croce enshrines many treasures and it developed – later indeed – a (neo) Gothic shell.

While the neo-Gothic façade dates to 1857/1863, the sixteen chapels of Santa Croce shine of medieval light, with the frescoes and altarpieces by Giotto and his disciples: will get back to Giotto with a dedicated post.

The Cenotaphs

The other main feature of Santa Croce is the many toms and cenotaphs of famous people: among others, and just to mention the “artsy” ones, Michelangelo Buonarroti and Lorenzo Ghiberti.

Santa Croce official site

By |2017-12-21T14:18:03+00:00November 22nd, 2017|Florence monuments|0 Comments

About the Author:

My passion for languages and travels led me to study languages, particularly English and German, first at the Language High School and the at the Translator and Interpreter School in Florence. I then graduated at the University of Pisa in Languages, with a specialization in History of Art. I have been active in the tourist sector for almost 20 years and since 1997 I have been working as a licensed tourist guide in Florence. I have lots of interests like, for example, travels, wines … and more…

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