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Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce
(4.8/5 based on 1,500+ reviews on the web)
Built over what was once a marshland, Basilica di Santa Croce is known as the Temple of the Italian Glories. Florence's most prestigious names--including Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Rossini--are entombed here. This is the largest Franciscan church in the world, with 16 chapels that are decorated with frescoes by Giotto. Look for the Star of David over the cathedral's entrance. Jewish architect Nicolò Matas added it in the late 19th century. He designed the marble facade and wanted to be buried among his peers inside the church--but because of his faith, he was buried under the porch outside the church walls. The remains of convent buildings are next to the cathedral. In the old dormitory, you leather-crafting artisans make wallets, belts, and purses that are sold in the shop next door. Plan your visit to Basilica di Santa Croce and a wealth of other attractions, well-known and undiscovered, using our Lecce trip builder.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • The richly decorated façade made of this Basilica one of the most beautiful baroque Basilicas of Lecce. We're not in this building without marvel at the work done by the masters-sculptors of the 16th - 17th sc. visit Lecce without seeing Santa Croce is missing out on one of the buildings reflecting what was the greatness of Lecce. Personally, we preferred by far the outside than the inside of the Basilica. Of course, we like or we don't like the baroque!
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  • We were lucky that we stayed at the Palazzo Persone, a hotel almost adjacent to the Basilica. Opening your eyes to such an external beauty makes your day outstanding from the start.And to add to all t...  more »
  • The Santa Croce Basilica is nice one of the most beautiful churches in the city of Lecce. We visited during a weekend in Puglia. Unfortunately it has various scaffolding for renovations which do not undermine the beauty of this basilica, and this city on a human scale which manages to marry the tourist industry with many foreigners and its measure of city clean, functional and artistic history.
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Google
  • Lecce is overall beautiful, but this is for sure one of the jewels. Must see. Pay attention to the facade and figurines of gargoyles, lions, griffins etc. - purely amazing!
  • ottimo
  • The façade is currently undergoing restoration, to save the architecture of one of Europe's most beautiful rose Windows. Observing the rose window, you can also have fun in finding five small human profiles inlaid on the contour. One of these represents the author himself, Cesare Penna, who reportedly wanted to sign in this way his majestic work.
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  • Santa croce Basilica, represents the quintessential Baroque in Lecce. Conceived as an extension of the Palazzo Celestini, the work was begun in 1353, but with the death of Maecenas Builder stopped and you will see only finished in 1699. The façade is divided into three floors because of extraordinary artists who built the façade, it took 40 years to complete because of workers not up to such a laborious project. Of caryatids supporting the façade, allegory of spiritual power but also temporal, to show a city imbued with a sense of reverence for God, but especially a decidedly concrete power Bishop on citizens which subjects even before the faithful. The rose window is majestic, surrounded by pagan Christian images as much as the Baroque style teaches. The stone shows all its charm. Soft as wax just pulled out, allowed artists to shape it easily. Once exposed to the air then becomes hard as travertine, and changeless forever amber marble in its pure whiteness as in the light of the sunset.
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  • The Basilica of the Holy Cross is the symbol par excellence of Lecce Baroque, a few steps from Piazza Sant'Oronzo. The beauty of this Basilica is unmatched and will leave you breathless just like it happened to me when I saw her for the first time. Take 10 minutes of your time to admire all the details and maybe even bother packing the memory by taking some pictures. Shame about the scaffolding on the outside who turns out to be as an eyesore for many tourists who every day come to admire the beauties of this splendid city. Unfortunately I have not had the opportunity to visit the Interior as I was passing through but I do again next time.
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