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Santa Maria Novella

Listed under Churches & Abbeys in Florence, Italy.

  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
  • Photo of Santa Maria Novella
Photo of Santa Maria Novella
Photo by flickr user laura padgett
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Florence is one of those wonderful Renaissance ‘City of Churches’ types, and the Santa Maria Novella was its first great basilica. The church’s façade looks like a beautifully detailed architectural sketch, not quite yet brought into three dimensions, with perfectly symmetrical arches, squares and circular patterns. The church was actually designed by two Dominican friars, but the black and white marble design for the façade came from a more experienced architect and was added sometime after. Inside it’s the frescos by Gothic and Renaissance masters that will captivate visitors, depicting the lives of James the Apostle, and lesser known Apostle, Philip, and a whole section in the choir features the work of Domenico Ghirlandio and his apprentice Michelangelo. The inside of the church is also decorated with Corinthian columns and a stained glass window of the Madonna and Child.

The church was consecrated in 1420, but it was built on consecrated ground, prior to Santa Maria Novella there was a 9th Century oratory, the Santa Maria delle Vigne, on the site.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

Other expert and press reviews

“Santa Maria Novella”

Santa Maria Novella is chronologically the first of the great Florentine basilicas. Its name, "Novella", comes from the fact that it was built on the site of a 9th century oratory, called Santa Maria delle Vigne, which had already been enlarge… Read more...

Written by press. The Florence art guide text by Gloria Chiarini

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