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Chiesa di Santa Lucia dei Magnoli

The façade of the Chiesa di Santa Lucia dei Magnoli





The Chiesa di Santa Lucia dei Magnoli is one of the oldest churches in Oltrarno district; located in Via de’ Bardi, it was formerly known as the Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Magnoli. It was founded in 1078 by the knight Uguccione Della Pressa who owned mills in this area; on his death the church was completed by his son Magnolo, from whom the name of the church, and then administered by his descendants. In the years 1173-1175 it was incorporated into the walls of Oltrarno and later, the construction of the last wall of Florence was included among the other parishes in the city. From 1246 it was entrusted to the Benedictine Monastery of San Miniato al Monte and in 1373 it passed under the direct authority of the bishop of Florence. The patronage of the church then passed, in 1421, to Niccolò da Uzzano, who took care of the restoration of the church and the frescoes of the Cappella Maggiore commissioned to Lorenzo di Bicci. Over the centuries it has been indicated with different names (“de’ Bardi”, for the proximity to the houses of the Bardi family, “delle Rovinate” because this was the name of the area, subject to frequent landslides, where it was built).
Originally in Romanesque style, then Gothic, it was restructured in the Renaissance and consecrated on 1 May 1584 by Cardinal Alessandro de’ Medici (later Pope Leo XI), as recalled by an epigraph now placed in the access corridor to the sacristy. Later, in 1641, an oratory was built and in the years 1714-1715 the Loreto Chapel was added.
The façade of the church is a hut and a decoration in graffito characterizes its entire surface. In the central part of the façade, there is the Renaissance portal; the latter is surmounted by a Terracotta lunette, by Benedetto Buglioni, which depicts Saint Lucia between two angels. In the upper part of the façade, there are three windows, a circular rose window and two single lancet windows. In front of the entrance of the church there is a tabernacle of 1956 that recalls the first visit to Florence of San Francesco who stopped in 1211 in the lazaret that once stood here. On the back of the church, visible from Lungarno Torrigiani, it is possible to observe the bell tower with two arches.

The façade is entirely decorated with graffito plaster through a typical imitation stone motif; the decoration of the portal is in Pietra Serena Sandstone, above the portal there is a lunette in glazed Terracotta depicting the Madonna with angels. On the left of the façade, the coat of arms of the da Uzzano family, is in Pietra Serena Sandstone.

Detail of the portal in Pietra Serena Sandstone with a lunette in glazed Terracotta
Detail of the façade decorated with graffito plaster and coat of arms in Pietra Serena Sandstone