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Church of San Domenico in Arezzo

Places of worship

A seemingly simple structure that plays with perspective and contains a priceless treasure

In the historic centre of Arezzo, you'll find the church of San Domenico that was constructed at the turn of the 13th and 14th centuries. It's known for housing the first - still unfinished - conclave in history, dating to 1276.

The construction of the Romanesque-style building was supported by funding from two noble families of the time, the Ubertini and Tarlati families. Over the centuries, various works have been carried out which have given the church its current appearance. Since 1960, San Domenico boasts the title of Minor basilica, conferred by Pope John XXIII.

Wooden crucifix by Italian artist Cimabue
Wooden crucifix by Italian artist Cimabue - Credit: Cimabue

Inside, the church of San Domenico develops along a single nave. Light enters from the trifora window situated above the altar and from a series of monofore windows that are placed alongside one another on both sides in a non-equidistant way: as you get closer to the end of the nave, the windows are placed ever closer together, giving the church an effect of greater depth.

The church contains many treasures, including medieval and Renaissance works such as numerous frescoes and a glazed terracotta of the Della Robbia school.
The most important work, however, is the wooden crucifix by Cimabue. Made of gold and tempera on wood, the crucifix is approximately 340x270 cm, and is positioned imposingly above the altar. Its construction dates back to the 1360s, and is one of the artist's first works.

More attractions in Arezzo