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location_cityHistorical Buildings

Church of San Leopoldo in Follonica

The Neoclassical building is one of the first cases of “cast-iron architecture” in Tuscany

Map for 42.9226887,10.75930029999995
Via Roma, 85, 58022 Follonica GR, Italia

The Church of San Leopoldo in Follonica, commissioned by Grand Duke Leopold II, was begun in 1836, consecrated in 1838 and finished in 1841.

The Church is Neoclassical in style, with a Latin cross and a cast-iron pronaos, a unique trait that characterizes the furnishings inside the church as well.

The columns supporting the decorated entablature, balustrade, central arch and friezes by the sculptor Nencini depicting St. Leopold handing out goods to the poor are all in cast-iron.

The theme pays tribute to the reclamation work carried out by Leopold II in the Maremma. All the cast-iron pieces were made by the Fonderie Ilva, which Leopold modernized in 1834, active until 1960 in working and producing iron pieces for street furniture, like the fountain in Arcidosso and the decorated pillars that surround the cathedral in Florence. 

Follonica is located at the center of a beautiful namesake gulf, between the promontory of Piombino and Punta Ala and across from Elba Island. Since antiquity, the town has been famous for iron and cast iron production, so much so that its name originates from the world fulloni, the ancient bellows of the melting furnaces. ...