Florence churches and cathedrals
Visit Florence and its churches and cathedrals.
BASILICA OF SANTA CROCE AND MUSEO DELL'OPERA DI SANTA CROCE
The principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 metres south east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie).
CATHEDRAL, BAPTISTERY, MUSEO DELL'OPERA DEL DUOMO
Santa Maria del Fiore, the Gothic cathedral erected over the ancient basilica of Santa Reparata, was designed by Arnolfo di Cambio who began construction in 1296. Brunelleschi completed it in 1436 with the elegant dome, the inside of which was entirely frescoed by Vasari and Zuccari. The final phase in the construction of the cathedral, that is the completion of the façade, dates from the mid-19th century.
To the right of the cathedral rises the Bell Tower, or Campanile, designed by Giotto in 1334.
The Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore is the cathedral church (Duomo) of Florence, Italy, begun in 1296 in the Gothic style to the design of Arnolfo di Cambio and completed structurally in 1436 with the dome engineered by Filippo Brunelleschi. The exterior of the basilica is faced with polychrome marble panels in various shades of green and pink bordered by white and has an elaborate 19th century Gothic Revival facade by Emilio De Fabris.
The cathedral complex includes the Baptistery and Giotto's Campanile. The three buildings are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site covering the historic centre of Florence and are a major attraction to tourists visiting the region of Tuscany. The basilica is one of Italy's largest churches, and until the modern era, the dome was the largest in the world. It remains the largest brick dome ever constructed.
The cathedral is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Florence, whose archbishop is currently Giuseppe Betori.
CHURCH OF ORSANMICHELE
Orsanmichele is a church in the Italian city of Florence. The building was constructed on the site of the kitchen garden of the monastery of San Michele, now gone.
The church was originally built as a grain market in 1337 by Francesco Talenti, Neri di Fioravante, and Benci di Cione. Between 1380 and 1404 it was converted into a church used as the chapel of Florence's powerful craft and trade guilds. On the ground floor of the square building are the 13th century arches that originally formed the loggia of the grain market. The second floor was devoted to offices, while the third housed one of the city's municipal grain storehouses, maintained to withstand famine or siege. Late in the 14th century, the guilds were charged by the city to commission statues of their patron saints to embellish the facades of the church. The sculptures seen today are copies, the originals having been removed to museums.
BASILICA OF SAN LORENZO AND THE MEDICI CHAPELS
The Basilica di San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches of Florence, situated at the centre of the city’s main market district, and the burial place of all the principal members of the Medici family from Cosimo il Vecchio to Cosimo III. It is one of several churches that claim to be the oldest in Florence; when it was consecrated in 393 it stood outside the city walls. For three hundred years it was the city's cathedral before the official seat of the bishop was transferred to Santa Reparata. San Lorenzo was also the parish church of the Medici family. In 1419, Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici offered to finance a new church to replace the eleventh-century Romanesque rebuilding. Filippo Brunelleschi, the leading Renaissance architect of the first half of the fifteenth century, was commissioned to design it, but the building, with alterations, was not completed until after his death. The church is part of a larger monastic complex that contains other important architectural works: the Old Sacristy by Brunelleschi; the Laurentian Library by Michelangelo; the New Sacristy based on Michelangelo's designs; and the Medici Chapels by Matteo Nigetti.
CONVENTO DI SAN MARCO
A complex comprising a church and a convent. The convent, which is now a museum, has three claims to fame: during the 15th century it was home to two famous Dominicans, the painter Fra Angelico and the preacher, Girolamo Savonarola. Also housed at the convent is a famous collection of manuscripts in a library built by Michelozzo.
BASILICA OF THE SS. ANNUNZIATA
The Basilica della Santissima Annunziata is a Roman Catholic minor basilica in Florence and the mother church of the Servite order. It is located at the northeastern side of the Piazza Santissima Annunziata.
CHURCH AND MUSEUM OF SANTA MARIA NOVELLA
Santa Maria Novella is situated just across the main railway station which shares its name. Chronologically, it is the first great basilica in Florence, and is the city's principal Dominican church.
The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapterhouse contain a store of art treasures and funerary monuments. Especially famous are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance. They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.
CHURCH OF SANTA TRINITA
It is the mother church of the Vallumbrosan Order of monks, founded in 1092 by a Florentine nobleman. Nearby is the Ponte Santa Trinita over the river Arno. The church is famous for its Sassetti Chapel, containing notable frescoes by Domenico Ghirlandaio.
CHURCH OF SANTO SPIRITO
The Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito ("St. Mary of the Holy Spirit") is one of the main churches in Florence, Italy. Usually referred to simply as Santo Spirito, it is located in the Oltrarno quarter, facing the square with the same name. The building on the interior is one of the pre-eminent examples of Renaissance architecture.
The church has 38 side chapels (two chapels having been given over to doors), which contain a noteworthy amount of artworks. The most significant is the Bini-Capponi Chapel, housing the St. Monica Establishing the Rule of the Augustinian Nuns painting by Francesco Botticini. The Corbinelli chapels works are by Andrea Sansovino, Cosimo Rosselli and Donnino and Agnolo del Mazziere.
In the chapels of the transept are frescoes by Filippino Lippi. Also in the transept is a choir from which the Frescobaldi Marquisses could participate to the rites without being seen by the crowd.
The sacristy, accessed through a doorway in what would have been the left sixth chapel preceded by a monumental vestibule by Simone del Pollaiolo, was designed by Giuliano da Sangallo in 1489, and has an octagonal plan. It is home to a devotional painting of St. Fiacre curing the sick (1597) by Alessandro Allori (1596) commissioned by Christine of Lorraine, Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici's wife.