Thursday, 24 September 2015

My 3 day Italy trip - Firenze, the façade of the church of San Leonardo in Arcetri and San Miniato al Monte church façade, the nave ceiling, floor and right side wall frescoes - The 19th of September 2015


We continued walking along via San Leonardo not having been aware we had taken the wrong turn, which would ultimately mean a further one hour walk into the hill.

The façade of the San Leonardo in Archetri's Medieval church dating from the 11th century we came across on the left hand side among olive groves was quite interesting.

We finally reached viale Galileo Galilei which we had to walk down on for quite a while in what could have easily been considered one of the hardest walks of my life, had I not been so keen on visiting the church of San Miniato Al Monte.
The moment we caught sight of it tiredeness was unexpectedly gone because we soon realised it had been worth the walk. The Romanesque church is said to have been built in 1018 over the shrine of Saint Miniato, an early Christian martyr of Armenian origin who was beheaded by Emperor Decius for his beliefs.

The façade which was begun around 1090 has geometric patterning in greyish green and white marble, with a statue on the gable depicting an eagle carrying a bale of cloth, symbol of the powerful Arte di Calimala (guild of wool importers) who financed the Church in the middle ages. Below the gable one could see a beautiful mosaic showing Christ, the Virgin and Saint Minias.

The floor of the nave is marble-inlaid with mosaic panels with geometric  and zoomorphic motifs, as well as the wheel of the zodiac.

14th and 15th century frescoes cover the walls, which I  couldn't help but admiring and photographing simultaneously. I started on the right-hand side before making my way to the upper nave gallery and was simply fascinated by them.

(To be continued)


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