Monday, February 5, 2007

Basilica di San Miniato al Monte

Name: Basilica di San Miniato al Monte
Posted by: Clinton Riddle
Location: Florence, Italy

Construction of the present church was begun in 1013. It began its life as a Benedictine monastery, was passed to the Clunaic order. In 1373, it was passed to the Olivetans, who still run it. The monks make liqueurs, honey, and medicines, which they sell from a shop next to the basilica. The interior is of this Romanesque church seems a bit unusual, with its choir raised on a platform above the large crypt, which serves as a gathering place for evening mass. Adjacent to the church is a cloister and the monastery, which has served as a hospital and barracks in times of war. Surrounding the entire complex is a series of defensive walls.

Just as important as the architecture of the site is the breathtaking view afforded by its physical location. An ascent to San Miniato al Monte (made easy by a trip on the #13 bus from the train station) allows the visitor to see the see almost the entire city of Florence and enjoy the park-like setting that rings the complex's walls.

Clinton Riddle

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