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The Santa Croce Church is located a few blocks to the east of most of the well-known sights of Florence.  Its construction began in 1294, and continued for the next century-and-a-half.  It has a white fašade which wasn’t added until the 19th Century.  It was added at that time by the Jewish architect Niccolo Matas, who somehow got away with featuring a prominent Star of David near the top.  He was denied burial inside the church, though, instead being buried under the porch.

Santa Croce Church
Santa Croce Church

Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in the world and features many chapels with impressive frescoes, some by Giotto.  There is a museum in the former refectory building (dining hall) with additional artworks.  But the church is probably best known for the people buried in it.  A few of the eternal residents are Michelangelo, Galileo, Ghiberti, Machiavelli and Rossini.  There are also monuments to many prominent Italians who aren’t buried there, such as Dante, da Vinci, Raphael and Marconi.

To get to Santa Croce from the Duomo, we headed south down the Via dei Calzaiuoli (the Street of the Many Vowels), hung a left at the Piazza della Signoria (more on this piazza later) and continued on to the church.  The piazza in front of the church was for some reason filled with scaffolding, denying us a good view of the church front.  The entrance was on the north side of the church, where we paid our money and went in.

 Church and Scaffolding
Church and Scaffolding

Inside the Church
Inside the Church
HD Video (11.7 MB)  SD Video (4.1 MB)
Main Altarpiece
Main Altarpiece, Niccol˛ di Pietro Gerini
Restorers and Main Altarpiece
Restorers and Main Altarpiece
HD Video (17.4 MB)  SD Video (7.2 MB)
Church from Altar Area
Church from Altar Area
HD Video (13.9 MB)  SD Video (7.6 MB)
Cappella Benci
Cappella Benci
Cappella Bardi di Vernio
Cappella Bardi di Vernio
Cappella Niccolini
Cappella Niccolini
Cappelli Bardi di Vernio and Niccolini
Cappelli Bardi di Vernio and Niccolini
HD Video (17.1 MB)  SD Video (7.0 MB)
Capella Baroncelli, Altarpiece
Capella Baroncelli, Altarpiece
Capella Baroncelli, Stained Glass
Capella Baroncelli, Stained Glass

Photography wasn’t forbidden in the church, and we found much to take pictures of.  A fair amount was hidden from our view, though, as scaffolding being used for restoration work blocked much of the south side of the church (including Machiavelli’s tomb) and the main altar area behind the main altarpiece.

Tomb of Galileo Galilei
Tomb of Galileo Galilei
Tomb of Galileo Galilei
Tomb of Galileo Galilei
HD Video (15.8 MB)  SD Video (3.3 MB)
Tomb of Michelangelo Buonarroti
Tomb of Michelangelo Buonarroti
Tomb of Michelangelo
Tomb of Michelangelo
Detail, Tomb of Michelangelo
Detail, Tomb of Michelangelo
Detail, Tomb of Michelangelo
Detail, Tomb of Michelangelo
Tomb of Michelangelo
Tomb of Michelangelo
HD Video (17.0 MB)  SD Video (3.6 MB)
Tomb of Giaochino Rossini
Tomb of Giaochino Rossini
Monument to Dante Aleghieri
Monument to Dante Aleghieri
Monument to Leonardo da Vinci
Monument to Leonardo da Vinci
Monument to Guglielmo Marconi
Monument to Guglielmo Marconi
Monument to Niccolini
Monument to Niccolini

From the church we walked over to the museum and looked at the artworks displayed there.

Ascent to Calvary
Ascent to Calvary, Spinello Aretino
Crucifixion
Crucifixion, Taddeo Gaddi
Resurrection
Resurrection, Niccolo di Pietro Gerini
Chapel with Bas-Relief and Nativity Scene
Chapel with Bas-Relief and Nativity Scene
HD Video (12.0 MB)  SD Video (2.8 MB)
Tree of the Cross
Tree of the Cross, Taddeo Gaddi
Descent of Christ into Limbo
Descent of Christ into Limbo, Angelo Bronzino

Altarpieces in Museum
Altarpieces in Museum (SD Video, 3.9 MB)

There were photographs taken during a terrible flood that struck Florence in 1966, as well as a well-known artwork (a 1288 crucifix by Cimabue) damaged during the flood.  Many artworks were damaged throughout the city, and restoration continues to the present day.

Photo of 1966 Flood
Photo of 1966 Flood
Damaged Cimabue Crucifix
Damaged Cimabue Crucifix (1287-88)

From the museum we walked through a cloister with a nice view of the 19th Century campanile and the 15th Century Pazzi Chapel (partly designed by Brunelleschi) and exited back into the Piazza di Santa Croce.

Cloister
Cloister
Cappella dei Pazzi and Campanile
Cappella dei Pazzi and Campanile

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