Basilica di Santa Croce
The Church of Holy Cross, or Basilica di Santa Croce, is a beautiful and historic place to visit while in Florence. The church dates back to 1294 but did not receive consecration until 1443 by Eugene IV. Today, this is the main Franciscan church in Florence and is a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church located not far from the Duomo.
Visitors will find Chiesa Santa Croce in Piazza Santa Croce. Another one of the names for this church is the Temple of the Italian Glories. It gets this name because it acts as the tomb of some rather famous Italians. Some of those who make this their resting place include Galileo, Machiavelli, and Michelangelo. This is just a sampling of the many famous individuals that have this church as their final resting place.
One of the other things that help to make this already famous building stand out more is the fact that it is also the larger Franciscan church in the world. Chiesa Santa Croce has sixteen different chapels and a gorgeous design for both the interior and the exterior. It even features a bell tower.
One of the many attractions at the church includes the Museo dell’Opera di Santa Croce, near the cloister. Some of the artists who have work at the church include Henry Moore, Santi di Tito, Giorgio Vasari, Donatello, and Andrea Orcagna.
In 1966, a flood of the Arno River actually damaged the building and some of the artistic and historic pieces inside. It took years of reparation, but the site is in great condition today.
The church is much more than just a religious building today. It is a place of community and a place that many visitors to Florence truly want to see.
From the tombs of famous Italians to the beautiful artwork and architecture, Chiesa Santa Croce does seem to have something that can hold just about everyone’s interest.