Church San Lorenzo Florence

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San Lorenzo
Piazza di San Lorenzo - 50123 Firenze
Area: Centro storico

The oldest church in Florence is the San Lorenzo church. It was consacrated in 393 a.c. by S. Ambrogio and dedicated to Lorenzo martyr; little is left of the church today. The church was rebuilt twice; first in 1059 (in Romanic style) and second (thanks to the Medici family who wanted to make a personal temple of it) according to the project of Brunelleschi (from 1418 to 1421) and after his death it was finished by Antonio Manetti in 1461. The last reconstrucion, the one we can admire today, is considered as being one of the best constructions of the Senaissance. The facade is not finished although Michelangelo had ideated a project wich has never realized.
The church interior is divided in three naves and each one is composed of arches: all this, thanks to candid colours, creates a suggestive atmosphere. The church was embellished by the most famous artists of the period and today we can still admire its integrity despite the continual remaking during the XIX century. The old sacristy is a work of Brunelleschi and decorated with frescoes by Donatello. In the sacristy 's dome we can see a fresco which represents a small planetary in which are represented, with unique precision, the heavenly bodies with which the Florentine sky was composed in the summer of 1442.
In the new sacristy there are tombs of Lorenzo il Magnifico and Giuliano, made and placed according to a project of Michelangelo. Of noteworthy interest is also the Cappella Medicea; from here it is easy to reach the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana in which is kept a collection of manoscritti of great prestige.

The present building,commissioned by Medici,was begun in 1419,suspended and begun again in 1442 by Brunelleschi according his design of 1420 and finished,after his death,by his pupil Antonio Manetti.
In 1518 Michelangelo made a project for the facade but it was never carried out.
The interior is one of the first magnificent creation of florentine Renaissance.It is in the form of a Latin cross,with a nave and two aisles divided by columns with their capitals topped by abacuses supporting the the round arches.
The balustrade on the inside facade is by Michelangelo.
Among the most important works:the two famous Pulpits by Donatello with bronze panels made in collaboration with his helpers and the Annunciation by Filippo Lippi.
From the left transept we arrive at the Old Sacristy whose design is by Brunelleschi while by Donatello and his pupils are the four medallions in terra-cotta with the lunettes,the bronze panels of the two Doors on the both sides of the apse.The Tomb of Giovanni and Piero dei Medici is by Verrocchio.
From the inside of the church we arrive at the Cloister of S.Lorenzo by Brunelleschi where ther is the entrance for the Laurentian Library.The library,founded by Cosimo the Elder and enlarged by Lorenzo il Magnifico,was commissioned to Michelangelo by Pope Clement VII in 1524 but was finished only in 1578.Vasari and Ammannati have cooperated to the realoization of the vestibule.Ammannati realized also the wonderful Triple staircase,designed by Michelangelo(1559).The staircase leads to the rectangular room designed by Michelangelo who is also the author of the wooden ceiling and the wooden reading-desks.

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Visit timetable:
From Monday to Saturday: 10 AM - 5.30 PM.
From 01/03 to 31/10 on Sunday from 1.30 PM to 5.30 PM.

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Where we are

Address: Piazza di San Lorenzo - 50123 Firenze
Web: http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilica_di_San_Lorenzo_%28Firenze%29
Tel. 055-2049266
Price: 4,5 €