Santa Croce The Largest Franciscan church in the world.
Pretend you know these people Susan Bob
Today Bob and Susan are visiting Santa Croce It is our job to tell them how to get around the church.
Susan still doesn’t really know anything about Santa Croce. • Is there any information you know?
We start in the piazza. • Looking at the church we tell Bob and Susan to walk straight.
Santa Croce is built in gothic style. • What is gothic style? • Gothic is a style of architecture which developed in northern France and spread throughout Europe between the 12th and 16th centuries. It is characterized by slender vertical piers and counterbalancing buttresses, cross vaultings and pointed arches. Paris – Nôtre Dame Chartres – the Cathedral Milan – the Cathedral
Pinnacle Door Pointed arch Rose-window Bell-tower
The façade is made of white marble from Carrara, green marble from Prato and pink marble from Verona. • There are three doors on the front of the church corresponding to the nave and the two aisles. • On the left of the church there is a statue of Dante Alighieri. • Dante is surrounded by four lions (symbolizing the Florentine Republic), one on each corner. • It was placed here in 1865 on the occasion of the 600th anniversary of Dante’s birth.
Façade of Santa Croce • The neo-gothic façade was installed between 1857-1863. • It was designed by Nicolò Matas, a jewish architect. He added the star of David to the front of the church. • Matas wanted to be buried inside the church with his peers but because he was Jewish he was buried under the porch, not within the walls of the church.
The Bell-Tower • It was built in1842. • It replaced the old tower which was struck by lightning and destroyed.
Well, let’s enter! • The inside is lined with octagonal columns
Apse Chapels Octagonal columns Chapels Nave Aisles
Santa Croce • The church is built in the shape of an Egyptian Tau Cross. This is the symbol of the Franciscan monks. Egyptian cross Roman cross
Santa CroceThe temple of the Italian glories • Many famous Italians have tombs in Santa Croce. Do you recognize any of these?
… Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo, Niccolò Machiavelli. Walking along the right aisle you can see: • the tombstone of Michelangelo by Giorgio Vasari (1570); • the cenotaph of Dante Alighieri (1829); • the tombstone of Vittorio Alfieri by Antonio Canova (1810); • the tombstone of Niccolò Machiavelli (1787); • the tombstone of Leonardo Bruni a Chancellor of the Florentine Republic by Bernardo Rossellino (1450); • the tombstone of Gioacchino Rossini (1900); • the tombstone of Ugo Foscolo (1938) who, in his poem “i Sepolcri” spoke about these famous tombstones in Santa Croce
Walking back along the left aisle, to the exit of the church, you can see other funerary monuments, among which the most important ones are: • the monument to Leon Battista Alberti by Lorenzo Bartolini (at the first column); • the monument to Carlo Marsuppini secretary of the Florentine Republic by Desiderio da Settignano; • the monument to Vittorio Fossombroni a famous politician by Lorenzo Bartolini; • the monument to Galileo Galilei.
The aisles of the church host many paintings, sculptures and key works. trusses pointed arches Stained glass window Octagonal column
Giotto and Taddeo Gaddi in Santa Croce Inside Santa Croce you can find famous chapels: • the Baroncelli chapel with frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi representing the life of the Virgin and a Polyptych by Giotto.
the Bardi chapel with frescoes by Giotto with scenes from the life of San Francesco; • the Peruzzi chapel with frescoes by Giotto representing scenes from the lives of Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist.
Outside Santa CroceThe Pazzi Chapel The Pazzi family hired Brunelleschi to build a chapel in their honor in the cloister of Santa Croce. The dome in the Pazzi chapel looks a lot like the dome Brunelleschi constructed for the Cathedral.
Outside Santa CroceThe Opera Museum In the “Cenacolo”, among masterpieces of the Middle Ages, you can find: • the huge fresco by Taddeo Gaddi representing the Holy Cross Tree; • the Crucifix by Cimabue which was greatly damaged by the Flood in 1966
Flood of 1966 • When the Arno flooded the water destroyed many paintings in Santa Croce. It took decades to restore them.
There is so much to do! • There are so many things in Santa Croce that if you wanted to, you could spend an entire day there!
Glossary • Aisle • Apse • Bell-tower • Buttress • Cathedral • Cenotaph • Chancellor • Chapel • Church • Cloister • Cross • Cross vaulting • Crucifix • Dome • Façade • Flood • Fresco • Funerarymonument • Lightning • Marble • Masterpiece • Monk • Nave • Octagonalcolumn • Painting • Pier • Pinnacles • Pointedarches • Politician • Polyptyc • Porch • Rose-window • Sculpture • Secretary • Shape • Stainedglasswindow • Statue • Tombstone • Trusses