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Abbey of San Miniato al Monte in Florence

Places of worship

The Florentine Romanesque masterpiece dominates the city from above

The Abbey of San Miniato al Monte in Florence was built between the 11th and 13th centuries and is a masterpiece of Florentine Romanesque architecture: the white and green marble façade is splendid, boasting a mosaic at the center that depicts Saint Minias, the Virgin Mary and Christ.

In several parts of the church, including at the top of the facade, there are depictions of the eagle with the torsel, a symbol of the art of Calimala, which financed the construction of this church on the spot where there was a small oratory dedicated to the Christian martyr Minias. According to the legend, in fact, Saint Minias was beheaded on the banks of the River Arno and, carrying his head in his hands, went to die at the top of the hill: this is where the oratory was founded, rebuilt into a church in 1018.

San Miniato al Monte
San Miniato al Monte - Credit: Kotomi_

The interior of the church boasts a wonderful marble floor, with a depiction of the zodiac and a crypt underneath, where visitors can admire curious Romanesque capitals.
There are also works of great value inside the church, like the Chapel of the Crucifix by Michelozzo, with glazed terracotta vaults by Luca della Robbia, and the Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, also decorated by Luca, and perhaps also by Andrea della Robbia and Alessio Baldovinetti, while in the sacristy, visitors can see frescoes depicting the life of St. Benedict by Spinello Aretino.

The Abbey of San Miniato al Monte is located just above the famous Piazzale Michelangelo, one of the highest points in Florence from which you can enjoy a wonderful view of the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as the Abbey itself.


Basilica of San Miniato Florence
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