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Santa Croce Basilica in Florence photo

Santa Croce Basilica is aside from the most popular pedestrian tours of Florence, but you should visit it to see the necropolis of the great people of Florence and all Italy.

‘Santa croce’ means «saint cross», but, usually, the name of the basilica isn’t translated into any other language of the world. The construction of the basilica was started in 1294. It is supposed that Santa Croce Basilica was designed by Alfonso di Cambio, the same architect who was also engaged in the construction of the Palazzo Vecchio about the same time.

The basilica is considered to be the world`s largest Franciscan church. It was built on the site of a small Franciscan chapel, which was allegedly laid down by Francis of Assisi himself, but it is unlikely to be so as while the construction of the first Franciscan chapel is dated to the middle of the 13 century, Francis of Assisi died in 1226 and was buried in Assisi.

The same as Santa Maria della Fiore Cathedral, the front of Santa Croce Basilica was finished by marble of white and green colour. However, the rest of the basilica was brick and unfinished, but this doesn’t detract from its magnificence.

Santa Croce Basilica was built in the shape of a bishop cross. From the time of its construction it was converted into the pantheon for the great people of Florence, representatives of science, art and religion. Later, there were buried not only the citizens of Florence but also the great Italians from the other regions of the country.

There were buried Michelangelo Buonarroti, Galileo Galilei, Niccolò Machiavelli and many other famous people who lived in Florence. Apart from the real burials at the Santa Croce Basilica there are also the so-called cenotaphs (empty tombs) of Dante Alighieri (buried in Ravenna), Raphael (buried in Rome), Marconi (buried in Rome), physicist Enrico Fermi (buried in Chicago) and many others.

It would be better for you to combine your visit to Santa Croce Basilica with an excursion to the Michelangelo Square, which is in the same part of Florence. Piazza della Signoria and Palazzo Vecchio are only 15 minutes from there.

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Santa-Croce Basilica as viewed from the tower of the Palazzo Vecchio.
The facade of the Santa-Croce Basilica is finished by marble, while the rest of the building is of brick.
The statue of Dante Alighieri near the entrance of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Monument above the tomb of Michelangelo at the Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
Burials and cenotaphs of the prominent citizens of Florence are on each side of the main nave of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
The tomb of the composer Giacomo Rossini at the Santa-Croce Basilica.
The statue above the tomb of the count Giovanni Alberti and the tombs in the right nave of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
The statue of the architect Leon Battista Alberti (15 century) at the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Numerous tombs in the left nave of the Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
The chancel of the Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
Tombs and cenotaphs of great people of Florence.
Medieval burials in the central part of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Frescoes between the tombs of Michelangelo and Dante at the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Tomb of Joseph Pompeo and the memorial plaques of Leonardo da Vinci (buried in the Amboise castle in France) and Enrico Fermi (buried in Chicago)
Tomb of Leopold Magnus at the Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
Graves in the floor and in the niches in the right nave near the chancel of the Santa-Croce Basilica. 
Tomb of the religious figure Baffalio Morgen at the Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
Funerary monuments of the great citizens of Florence at the Santa-Croce Basilica. 
Inner court of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Small Pazzi Chapel at the inner court of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Inner court of the Santa-Croce Basilica near the entrance to the Pazzi Chapel.
Inner court of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Santa Croce square in front of the basilica of the same name in Florence.
The facade of the Santa-Croce Basilica is finished by marble, while the rest of the building is of brick. 
Santa-Croce Basilica in Florence.
Pazzi Chapel at the inner court of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Tomb of John Lamio, as well as the memorial plaques of Marconi, Raphael and Giorgio Tempo at the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Tombstone of a religious figure in the center of the Santa-Croce Basilica.
Medieval burials in the central part of the Santa-Croce Basilica.