San Miniato Florence

The church of San Miniato in Florence was started in the xi century and is, after the battistery, the best example of the Roman Florentine style.
The church was already present at the time of Carlomagno but the structure which we can admire today began at the beginning of the XI century on the part of Bishop Ildebrando. The church steeple collapsed in 1499 and was rebuilt following the projects of Baccio D'Agnolo: during the seige of the imperial troops (1530) the steeple was transformed by Michelangelo into a point of defence.

Only later, near 1870, the monumental cemetry and the staircase which joins the church to the Piazzale Michelangelo, were built. The facade was built starting from the xii century and is characterized by geometrical motives of white and green marble: we can see a mosaic work representing christ between the Madonna and Saint Miniato and an eagle in gilted copper.
The inside of the church is built in three naves divided by columns and the marble floor represents the signs of the zodiac.

In the nave on the right there are many frescoes of the XIV century; Spinello Aretino is among the artits. In the central nave we find L'Edicola Del Michelozzo and a painting of Agnolo Giaddi representing l'Annunciazione e San Miniato. From the nave on the left side it is possible to enter the Cappella del Cardinale del Portogallo (1437) of Antonio Manetti (one of Brunelleschi's disciples), built in memory of the nephew of King Alfonso of Portugal: inside we find various frescoes and the tomb of the Cardinal. At the end of the central nave we can admire la Cappella Del Crocifisso built by Michelozzo around the middle of the XV century ordered by Piero Di Cosimo De' Medici. Inside we can also find marble going back to buildings of the romans and other works from which we can choose il crocifisso of Luca Della Robbia.
To the right of the curch you can find il Palazzo Dei Vescovi built in 1295 as the summer residence of the Florentine Bishps and the fortezza Fortress built under the supervision of Michelangelo around the middle of the XVI century: in the centre of la Fortezza we find the monumental cemetery.

After the Baptistery,it is one of the most notable example of Florentine Romanesque architecture.Already existing during Carlomagno's reign,it was built by Bishop Ildebrando after 1018 and completed only at the beginning of XIII century.
The facade,begun in the XII century and finished at the beginning of the XIII century is strictly in Florentine Romanesque style with green and white marble creating geometrical designs.The inferior part has five blind arches where are situated the three portals.

The interior,restored in some parts,has a nave and two aisles divided by columns and pillars.The capitals are in part in Romanesque style while others come directly from some Roman monuments.
The central nave has the floor divided in squares with marble intarsia.
At the end of the nave,the elegant Crucifixion Chapel by Michelozzo (1448),with barrel vaulted roof decorated by Luca della Robbia
The Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal was built by Antonio Manetti,pupil of Brunelleschi.In the vault are five terra-cotta medallions by Luca della Robbia
On the right side of the church there is the Bishops' Palace,summer residence of the Florentine Bishops until 1553,when it became the barracks of Spanish troups of Cosimo I.In 1594 became part of S.Miniato convent.
Besides the Palace,the Fortress,realized in few months under Michelangelo's direction and definitely finished by Francesco da Sangallo in 1553.
In front of the Fortress,the Monumental Cemetery,built by Nicolò Matas in 1854.

Via monte alle croci; from piazza Ferrucci, through viale Michelangelo and viale Galileo..

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Visit Timetable:
Weeks days: 8 AM - 7 PM;
Festive days: 8 AM - 12 AM and 2 PM - 7 PM
Free entry

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