The Santa Reparata Crypt is part of the extraordinary monuments that comprise Florence’s Grande Museo del Duomo. This building, which was unearthed during excavations, is found beneath the striking Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral and bears witness to early Christianity in Florence.
The church is part of the old basilica that stood where the present cathedral is today, which was completed in the early 15th century. The crypt probably dates to the 6th century when construction began on an offering in anticipation of a battle. Its features would have us believe that it was one of the largest early Christian complexes in Tuscia, also due to the elements reminiscent of Ravenna’s Byzantine churches.
The crypt has very old origins and was a site of major importance for Florence and Florentines. Before making way for the new cathedral, the crypt also acted as a non-religious building in 1379 as it was where the Florentine Republic held their parliamentary meeting for a while.
The crypt can be visited inside the Cathedral, observing the architectural remains from various periods, many tombstones and a mosaic floor dotted in geometric decorations. An interesting fact: the tomb of architect Filippo Brunelleschi, the man behind the cathedral’s dome, is located in these basements.