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San Miniato a Monte Abbey

Basilica di San Miniato a monte, Firenze
Credits Luca Casprini


Beautiful Romanesque church on the "mountain" of San Miniato near Florence (not the town of the same name). The façade cladding was probably started towards the eleventh century and continued for the twelfth for the upper part, which was financed by the art of "Calimala" (merchant guild of wool) and which also took over the task of maintaining the church from the 1288. As a testimony to this, the crowning eagle is their symbol. The Mosaic of Christ among the Virgins was composed in 1260.

In 1499, during the restoration work the bell tower and Baccio d'Agnolo collapsed, in 1523 it took over the design and reconstruction. The works lasted for years, stopped in '27 when they were interrupted to prepare the defense of the city proclaimed republic.

In 1530 the complex was used as a shooting post for the artillery making it protected by enemy artillery with mattresses by Michelangelo. The bell tower was then completed only in 1535. During the following centuries, during which the neglect brought it almost to collapse until 1908 when the consolidation works that lasted until 1929 were started.

The church has a rectangular, rather unusual, has the choir raised above a platform placed above the large crypt below. The floor dates back to 1207 and for straight lines leads the pilgrim and the visitor to the chapel of the crucifix by Michelozzo (1448). Originally housed the miraculous crucifix, now in Santa Trinita.

The terracotta decorations are by Luca della Robbia. On the choir and the presbytery there is a Romanesque pulpit from 1207. The apse basin is decorated with a large mosaic from 1297, with the same motif as the façade and probably by the same anonymous artist. The crucifix that dominates the main altar is attributed to Luca della Robbia

The crypt dates back to the eleventh century and is certainly one of the oldest parts of the church. The remains are said to belong to San Miniato and were laid in 1013. Sometimes I think a bit 'and I get the creeps. It is more than a thousand years that the crypt is there and bears direct evidence of a safe and testimonial past of our ancestors. The chapel's vault has been frescoed by Taddeo Gaddi with saints and prophets. The altar is very probably later than the presbytery, once was surrounded by a gate (1338), still present in part, and a wooden choir.


In the cemetery of San Miniato the Florentines rest and are still buried, who thanks to their works or their thoughts, deserved the thanks of the city.

In San Miniato it has always been possible to take a Latin mass


Address: Via delle Porte Sante, 34,
50125 Firenze FI
Telefono: 055 234 2731

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