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Descriptions, history and pictures of the most famous churches and cathedrals of Lucca

Churches of Lucca

Cathedral of St Martin

First constructed in 600, the cathedral underwent various rebuildings over the centuries - up to obtaining some internal reconstruction elements in Gothic style - a very rare case for the region of Lucca. Since 1170 the Cathedral of St Martin in Lucca contains the Holy Face (Volto Santo) - an important object of the Pilgrimage route of Via Francigena. There are also many others artistic works inside the building, among which -the Tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, and various works by the artists of Lucca of the 14 century.

The church of St Michele

The church of St Michele corresponds with ancient Roman forum - being a little decentreed from the eponymous square. This is the only church in Lucca which is in a way isolated from the architectonic ensemble of this part of the city (it's only connected in the northern part to the Gigli palace). The church represents an unfinished - probably for economic reasons - work, what can be traced through its appearance: the lower part of the facade is in Roman style, while its upper part is in Gothic style. Inside the church many precious artistic works - like the statue of Madonna with Child - can be seen.

The church of San Paolino

The church was built during the Renaissance period, in the first half of the 15 century - and hasn't undergone any kind of alteration ever since. This is in fact the only church in Lucca constructed entirely in 1500. With its wide front staircase and high facade - made entirely of marble - the church is characterized by distinct lines of the Renaissance style. Inside the church of San Paolino many beautiful artistic works are displayed, through which one can get acquainted with artistic life of Lucca from paleochristian times (a sarcophagus and an urn in the altar are the first testimonials of the Christian cult in the history of Lucca).

The church of San Cristoforo

Constructed at the beginning of the street of Via Fillungo, where in Roman times there was the "cardo maximum" of the Roman street layout. The Church of San Cristoforo was reconstructed above the ruins of the previous church, which had been dating back to 1200. At present it is closed to the cult and is used as an exhibition space.

The church of San Giovanni

Situated between the Napoleon square and the San Michele square. Before the consecration of St Martin in the Cathedral of Lucca, the church of San Giovanni acted as bishop's basilica.

The church of San Romano

The church was build entirely of stone around the middle of 12 century. Al present it is closed to the cult and is used mostly for cultural events.

The church of Sant'Agostino

The church of Sant'Agostino was reconstructed exactly on the place where the church of San Salvatore had stood. Inside the building one can see the image of Madonna in stone.

The church of San Salvatore

Situated in the eponymous square, the church was built at the beginning of the year 1000, and reconstructed in the 1100.

The church of San Francesco

Dating back to 1228, the church of San Francesco is located in the eastern part of Lucca, near the fortified walls of the 12 century. It was amplified in 1500 by Paolo Guinigi, Lucca's lord of that time - whose family had a chapel there. The upper part of the facade - in white limestone - was reconstructed as it is now in 1930.

The church of San Frediano

The church of San Frediano has paleochristian origins, and is one of the most ancient churches of Lucca. The church is dating back to 600 century - when it was founded by the bishop Frediano. Later it was assigned the name of the bishop, whose remains are present in the church crypt.