SANTA MARIA NOVELLA and SANTA CROCE – Must See Basilicas in Florence, Italy

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Santa Croce Basilica

October 9, 2016

Santa Croce was built in 1295.  The bell tower  built in 1512 was hit by lightening and fell.  A new bell tower was built between  1853 and 1863. The main chapel of this Basilica is stunning with it’s  dramatic wall to wall frescoes.

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The Main Chapel is one of sixteen.

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The alter piece in the Main Chapel  was assembled in 1869 with various  works of art from the 14th century.

The first funerary monument was placed in Santa Croce  in 1444.  Many well known and  famous Italians  are buried here – my favorite beautiful monument being…..

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Tomb  of Gino Capponi

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Tomb  of Michelangelo, 1564,  another favorite.

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Gioacchino  Rossini Tomb, 1887

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The detail on this is unbelievable.

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Tomb of Carlo Marsuppini, 1453

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There  are also  many tomb slabs in the floor – some are so old and worn that barriers are placed around them due to the trip factor.

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Santa Croce’s peaceful  cloister.

Moving on to the next must see……

The Santa Maria Novella Basilica is best known for it’s  many magnificent frescoes.  The Basilica was  built in 1279 – 1357 with the front facade of the church finally  finished in 1458 – 1470.   The bell tower  of the SMN  is 226 feet tall and was built in 1330 as a watchtower used to locate fires.

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This photo of Santa Maria Novella Basilica is borrowed from the internet – the day I was there there was  much construction in front of the church and too unsightly  for a decent photo.

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Inside of Santa Maria Novella – beautiful  arches and vast feeling.

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The pulpit  is made of carved  marble,  1443.

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The Tornabuoni  Chapel (one of seven)  has an elaborately decorated  marble alter.   Richly colored and detailed  storied frescoes  cover the walls and ceiling of this chapel.

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These spectacular  frescoes were the work of  Domenico Ghirlandaio and his workshop between 1485 and 1490.

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A few close ups of 3 sections of the vibrant  frescoes in this Basilica.

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There were several statues in SMN ……

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but I could never decide if this  Nun was legit or just a statue.

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The Spanish Chapel  at SMN is  completely covered in mesmerizing  frescoes.  This is the back wall, left wall and ceiling. The floor had many tomb slabs.

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Photo mostly of the vaulted ceiling – the chapel was built in 1350 and Andrea di Bonaiuto  painted  frescoes  in 1366.  The painting took 2 years to complete.

While  I  sometimes question if  visiting these  beautiful churches, does my eternity any good, I know that…..

travel-saying

Thanks for readng!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amy Weisser
    Nov 02, 2016 @ 00:59:11

    I definitely agree with your last comment, Jeannie……traveling is good for the heart and soul, not to mention our busy brains!

    Like

    Reply

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