Photo By Peter Watts
Basilica di San Miniato al Monte Church

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Basilica di San Miniato al Monte Church - PHOTOGRAPHER COMMENT

Taken from the nave of San Miniato al Monte in Florence, this virtual tour panorama shows part of the interior of the church with a painted ceiling.

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte Church - FURTHER INFORMATION

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte Church - Florence visitor guide showing a virtual tour of 'Basilica di San Miniato al Monte Church' linked to an interactive map with local and travel information. 360° panoramas from Tuscany.

San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain) is a basilica church in Florence built, as the name suggests, on top of Mons Fiorentinus (San Miniato Hill). It is outside the historic center, but still a popular attraction for both the church and views over Florence from nearby Piazzale Michelangelo. The basilica is considered one of the finest Romanesque churches in Tuscany.

The church is dedicated to Miniato or Minas, an Albanian prince serving in the Roman army denounced as a Christian and in 250 AD brought before Emperor Decius, who was camped outside Florence at the time. The Emperor ordered he be thrown to wild beasts in the arena, but they would not eat him, so he was beheaded near Piazza della Signoria. Miniato is pictured in the partially visible apse 1297 mosaic holding a crown to the right of Jesus.

San Miniato al Monte - Inside the Church

San Miniato al Monte is a very unusual church inside. Some of the main features include:
  • Patterned paving dating from 1207.
  • Choir raised on a platform above the large crypt with stairs up to the Choir and down to the Crypt at the end of the aisles.
  • Cappella del Crocefisso (Chapel of the Crucifix) - free standing chapel visible in this image at the end of the nave, designed by Michelozzo in 1448.
  • Crypt, the oldest part of the San Miniato al Monte, whose high altar supposedly contains the bones of St Minias, with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi.
  • Choir and Presbytery with a Romanesque pulpit and screen made in 1207, and a mosaic from 1297 decorating the apse. This mosaic copies the one on the church façade.
  • Cappella del Cardinale del Portogallo, one of the 'most magnificent funerary monuments of the Italian Renaissance', built in 1473 as a memorial to Cardinal James of Lusitania.
  • Trussed and coffered painted ceiling.
  • Sacristy is decorated by a cycle of frescoes of Episodes from the life of Saint Benedict by Spinello Aretino (c. 1387), commissioned by Benedetto degli Albert
Outside is a fine cloister, planned as early as 1426 and built from 1443 to mid-1450s. The facade dates from the 11th century, decorated in marble with another mosaic of Christ between the Virgin and San Miniato (13th century). From this vantage point, at the top of Mons Fiorentinus there are good views over Florence with the dome of the Florence Cathedral and top of the Giotto's Campanile visible in the distance.

The complex is surrounded by walls, built by Michelangelo during the siege and in 1553 expanded into a true fortress (fortezza) by Cosimo I de' Medici. These now enclose the Porte Sante cemetery which was laid out in 1854.


Basilica di San Miniato al Monte
Via delle Porte Sante, 34
50125 Florence, Italy
055 2342731


Bus: San Miniato al Monte (01)

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