Basilica of San Miniato al Monte – What you need to know
One of the most beautiful examples of the Florentine Romanic style is found in the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte (St. Minias on the Mountain). The 13th century mosaic of Christ enthroned between the Virgin Mary and St. Minias stands out on the characteristic white and green marble-covered facade, similar to that of the baptistery of San Giovanni.
The construction began in the 12th century and continued for more than 200 years. The Basilica has a three-naved interior, its walls are covered with frescoes from the 14th and 15th century and the floor, which dates to 1207 and is inlaid with geometric motives, is considered one of the finest in Florence.
But the masterpiece remains the altar aedicule, with its inlaid marble, commissioned by Piero de’ Medici and designed by Michelozzo; also important is the majolica vault by Luca della Robbia, while on the altar we find a splendid panel by Agnolo Gaddi from the end of the 14th century, representing St. John Gualberto with St. Minias. Also by Gaddi are some frescoes in the vault of the crypt, where the remains of St. Minias are kept. The bell tower was rebuilt in 1523, by Baccio d’Agnolo.
Other excellent works can be seen in the choir and in the presbytery, including a magnificent Romanic pulpit from 1207. The Chapel of the Cardinal of Portugal, designed by Brunelleschi’s pupil, Antonio Manetti, is a masterpiece of Florentine Renaissance, with an altar panel by Antonio and Piero del Pollaiolo.
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