Church of St Maria della Rosa
Church in Lucca
Santa Maria della Rosa is a rare and splendid example of Gothic architecture in the city of Lucca. Originally built as a chapel in the early 14th century to venerate an image of the Virgin Mary called “delle rose,” the chapel’s popularity led to the addition of beautiful arches along its side facade. Notably, the portal is adorned with unique roses emerging from the mouth of a dragon, adding to the church’s intriguing design.
In 1333, the chapel underwent redecorating, shifting the focus to the side wall while preserving its original Gothic style, making it one of the few of its kind in Lucca. Inside, the church was refurbished in the 15th century with three aisles, pillars, and cross vaults. The main altar houses the 14th-century Madonna delle Rose, a highly esteemed painting considered one of Lucca’s most prestigious artworks, still revered by the townspeople today.
During the early 1900s, the church became frequented by St. Gemma Galgani, who tragically passed away at the age of 25 due to tuberculosis. Annually, on April 11, the anniversary of her death, she is remembered in the church. A prayer bench, once used by St. Gemma, is preserved and continues to be utilized by faithful followers for prayer. This historical and religious significance adds to the church’s allure and makes it a cherished place of worship in Lucca.
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