Church of San Domenico in Arezzo
Church in Arezzo
In the heart of Arezzo’s historic center stands the Church of San Domenico, a remarkable structure dating back to the late 13th and early 14th centuries. This church holds a unique historical distinction as the site of the first-ever conclave in history, convened in 1276.
The Romanesque-style architecture of San Domenico was made possible through the support of two prominent noble families of the era, the Ubertini and Tarlati families. Over the course of centuries, the church underwent various renovations that contributed to its present appearance. In 1960, San Domenico was honored with the title of Minor Basilica, bestowed by Pope John XXIII.
Within the church’s interior, a single nave unfolds. Natural light enters through a trifora window positioned above the altar and a series of monofore windows that line both sides of the nave, though not in equidistant intervals. As you progress toward the end of the nave, these windows gradually draw closer together, creating an illusion of greater depth within the church.
San Domenico is home to an array of treasures, including medieval and Renaissance artworks such as numerous frescoes and a glazed terracotta piece from the Della Robbia school. However, the most prominent and cherished work is the wooden crucifix by Cimabue. Crafted with gold and tempera on wood, this crucifix measures approximately 340×270 cm and is prominently displayed above the altar. Dating back to the 1360s, it stands as one of the artist’s earliest masterpieces.
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