San Frediano Church, Lucca

Church in Lucca

Chiesa Di San Frediano, Lucca, Toscana, Italia
CC BY-SA 3.0 / Myrabella

The Basilica of San Frediano holds a significant place in Lucca’s religious history, believed to be founded by Saint Fridianus, the city’s bishop from 560 to 588. It is recognized as one of the oldest places of worship in the region and was mentioned in a document dating back to 685 as a Lombard-era basilica.

A distinguishing feature of the church is its remarkable mosaic adorning the façade, dating from the late 13th century. This rare ornamentation in the Romanesque style is a unique sight in Tuscany, with the only other similar façade found on the Church of San Miniato al Monte in Florence. The mosaic portrays Christ the Redeemer ascending to heaven, enveloped in a mandorla carried by two angels. Originally, the figure of the Virgin stood among the Apostles, but it was removed when a modern window was added. The Byzantine-style artwork is attributed to the Lucca-based school of Berlinghieri.

Upon entering the church, visitors are greeted by a grand interior divided into three naves, each adorned with identical arches supported by magnificent colonnades. Among the various chapels, two stand out for their beauty and artistic significance. The first is the Chapel of Sant’Agostino, adorned with frescoes from the 1500s painted by the Emilian artist Amico Aspertini. The second is the chapel belonging to the Tenta family, adorned with a reredos and tombstones crafted by the renowned sculptor Jacopo della Quercia. Additionally, the church houses a remarkable 12th-century baptismal font, adorned with reliefs depicting the Stories of Moses, the Apostles, and the months of the year.

The Basilica of San Frediano is a treasure trove of historical and artistic heritage, captivating visitors with its rich mosaic and stunning interior decorations. It remains a significant spiritual and cultural landmark in the heart of Lucca.


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Visiting San Frediano Church, Lucca

Address: Basilica di San Frediano, Piazza San Frediano, Lucca, Province of Lucca, Italy
Duration: 10 minutes

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