Religious building

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

Via delle Porte Sante, 34, Firenze

The Basilica of St. Miniato al Monte is located in one of the highest places of the city of Florence, and is one of the best examples of Florentine Romanesque. St. Miniato was the first martyr of the city. The construction of the Church began in 1013. The facade is one of the masterpieces of Florentine Romanesque, inspired by a classicism recovered from marble inlays of the monumental buildings Romans divided into two main segments, the lower one is characterized by five arches to all sixth supported by columns of green serpentine from Prato with bases and Corinthian capitals in white marble; the top highlights the true geometry of the Church, with two symmetrical slopes of the aisles and gables decorated with a two-tone white marble and green serpentine to form the Roman opus reticulatum. At the center of the portico is a window framed by two columns, supported by marble lion heads topped by a cover. In the top pane is the mosaic of Christ between the Virgin and St. Miniato (1260). The interior is unusual, with the presbytery and the choir raised on a platform above the large crypt. It leads to the top of two side staircases, while the central aisle, behind the altar lower branches off the shorter staircase to descend to the Crypt. The altarpiece of the table is by Agnolo Gaddi. The Crypt, the oldest part of the Church (XI century), is topped by the main altar that is supposed to contain the bones of St. Miniato. On the ceiling there are vaults that rest on thirty-eight columns which, in turn, divided into three naves crypt central and four side. The apse is decorated with a large mosaic of the Redeemer between the Virgin and St. Miniato (1297), the crucifix that dominates the main altar is attributed to Luca della Robbia. The Sacristy, which is accessed from the left aisle of the priest, is decorated with a large cycle of frescoes on the life of St. Benedict by Spinello Aretino (1387). The Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, in the left nave, was built between 1459 and 1467 and designed by Antonio Rossellino and frescoes by Pollaiolo. On the floor of the Basilica is a zodiac marble 1207.

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