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Basilica di San Lorenzo

The façade of the Basilica di San Lorenzo


IV B.C. - XV A.D. centuries


Filippo Brunelleschi, Antonio Manetti

The Basilica di San Lorenzo is located in the homonymous square and it is one of the oldest church in Firenze. According to some historical documents, it was consecrated in 393 A.D. and dedicated to San Lorenzo martyr. However, over the centuries, the structure has been modified several times, up to its current configuration; in 1059 it was once again consecrated. Another clear reconstruction took place around 1400 by the powerful florentine Medici family who considered the Basilica di San Lorenzo as a sort of family church and for this reason  financed the works, assigning them to Brunelleschi. Brunelleschi carried out the project to be performed but Antonio Manetti finished it. As it is possible to see today, the façade has never been finished, although there are documents attesting to the existence of a project signed by Michelangelo Buonarroti. The basilica is in Romanesque style, with very simple and austere lines; it displays a plan with three naves ending in a flat roof, each of which is characterized by classic arches.

The façade of the Basilica di San Lorenzo has a sloping gable shape, on which three curved portals open up. The façade is made of raw stone mainly constituted by Pietraforte Sandstone with additions of Pietra Serena Sandstone, rare pebbles of Alberese Limestone and Bricks held together by Mortar. The right side, decorated with an order of blind arches and pilasters strips, is in smooth Pietraforte Sandstone.

Detail of the façade in rough stone and Bricks
The right side of the basilica in Pietraforte Sandstone
Detail in Pietraforte Sandstone of the lateral wall of the basilica