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Basilica of San Frediano

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza S. Frediano, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy

Opening Hours

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca during the early morning or at sunset for a more tranquil experience and the best natural lighting to appreciate the stunning mosaic facade. Also, check out the small chapel on the left side as you enter; it's often missed but contains some beautiful, lesser-known art pieces."

What is Basilica of San Frediano?

The Basilica of San Frediano stands as a beacon of religious history and architectural beauty in the heart of Lucca, a storied city nestled within Tuscany's lush landscapes. This Romanesque church, reverent and stoic, beckons the faithful and the curious alike with its striking facade adorned with a mosaic that glimmers in the Italian sun. Inside, the basilica harbors an atmosphere of serene devotion, with art and history etched into every corner and alcove. It's not merely a church; it's a chronicle of faith, community, and artistic endeavor spanning centuries.

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As someone who has wandered these sacred aisles countless times, I am continually captivated by the intricate artwork and the profound sense of peace that envelops you as you step through its ancient doors. In knowing the nooks and crannies of this basilica, from the hushed whispers of its nave to the quiet dignity of its chapels, you come to understand why it holds a special place in the hearts of the Lucchesi—the people of Lucca.

History of Basilica of San Frediano

The origins of the Basilica of San Frediano can be traced back to the early Christian period. Its foundation dates to the 6th century, when the bishop of Lucca, Saint Frediano, an Irish monk, is said to have established the church. The current building however, was consecrated by Pope Alexander II in 1147, and it has stood as a testament to the power and influence of the Roman Catholic Church since the Middle Ages. Its façade, with the splendid 13th-century mosaic representing Christ ascending into Heaven, remains one of the most admirable examples of medieval art in Italy.

Delving into the lesser-known tales, it is said that when the body of Saint Zita, the patron saint of maids and domestic servants, was exhumed in the mid-16th century, it was found incorrupt, and thus she was enshrined within the basilica. Over the years, the basilica has seen numerous additions and renovations, yet it has always maintained the essence of its Romanesque style, a silent narrative of the city's endurance and devotion.

Why is Basilica of San Frediano Important?

The Basilica of San Frediano stands as a vessel of spiritual and historical significance. It's not only important for its religious role in the community or its embodiment of architectural prowess but also for the way it encapsulates the spirit of an era when the church was both the center of daily life and a canvas for artistic expression. The basilica bears witness to centuries of changing styles and evolving practices within the Christian doctrine, a living museum where one can trace the lineage of faith and art intertwining.

Most importantly, it endures as a symbol of Lucca's identity; a touchstone that has seen the city evolve from a Roman colony to a prosperous medieval commune, and onwards to the modern-day. Its walls hold stories ripe for the discovery, narratives that are passed on with a whisper from generation to generation among those who know its true worth beyond the guidebooks and travel blogs.

Things to Do & See at Basilica of San Frediano

Within the Basilica of San Frediano, a treasure trove of things to see and do awaits those who wish to delve deeper than the surface. The mosaic-adorned facade invites you in, but that's just the beginning. Inside, marvel at the celebrated font, the Fonte Lustrale, a remarkable piece of the 12th century known for its ornate carvings depicting the stories of Moses. Take a moment to observe the famed frescoes, including the Last Judgment, which astounds visitors with its vivid depictions and fascinating medieval symbolism.

Then, seek out the Chapel of the Holy Cross, where art enthusiasts will find themselves face to face with a mesmerizing crucifix, attributed to the iconic 13th-century artist Berlinghiero Berlinghieri. Give pausing respect to the relics of Saint Zita, and observe the devout coming to pay homage, a tradition that's woven into the fabric of the city.

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Certainly, don't miss the chance to experience the atmosphere during a service, when the basilica truly comes alive, resonating with choral music and the gentle murmur of prayer. It's in these moments that the beauty and solemnity of the Basilica of San Frediano are most profound, and you understand its enduring allure. The silence and serenity found in the cloisters, the soft play of light through ancient stained glass, all reveal the depth and layers of this spectacular monument that has stood the test of time.

Frequently asked questions

What is the significance of the Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca?

The Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca is significant due to its historical and architectural importance. It is one of the oldest churches in Lucca, featuring a remarkable Romanesque façade with a stunning mosaic and is known for its well-preserved original features.

What can visitors see inside the Basilica of San Frediano?

Inside the Basilica of San Frediano, visitors can see beautiful frescoes, richly decorated chapels, a baptismal font from the 12th century, and the mummified body of Saint Zita, the patron saint of Lucca.

How old is the Basilica of San Frediano?

The Basilica of San Frediano dates back to the 6th century, although it has undergone several renovations and restorations over time, including significant work in the 12th century which gives it its current Romanesque appearance.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Basilica of San Frediano?

Typically, there is no entrance fee to visit the Basilica of San Frediano, but donations are welcomed for the maintenance and preservation of the church.

Are there guided tours available for the Basilica of San Frediano in Lucca?

Guided tours are often available either from volunteer guides or professional tour guides. It's recommended to check the basilica's official website or contact the visitor center in Lucca for the most current tour information.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza S. Frediano, 55100 Lucca LU, Italy

Opening Hours

9:30 AM - 4:30 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps