899 / Chiesa di San Miniato al Monti / Firenze

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Bishop Hildebrand had the present Basilica built in 1018 on the site of a 4th century chapel. The lower part of the facade is decorated by fine arcading; the upper part is simpler and has a fine 12th-century mosaic of Christ between the Madonna and St. Miniato. The Basilica has an unfinished 15th century campanile that was damaged during the siege of Florence in 1530. The Bishop’s Palace, the fortifications, the monumental cemetery and the Basilica all stand at the top of a hill called Monte alle Croci, which overlooks Piazzale Michelangelo below and over the entire city of Florence. The interior of this magnificent example of Florentine Romanesque architecture (it originally belonged to the Benedictine monks and then passed to the Olivetan friars in 1373) is tripartite with a trussed timber roof.

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