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Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce

4.8
#2 of 13 in Historic Sites in Lecce
Religious Site Historic Site
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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Where to stay in Lecce

To enjoy Lecce's medieval architecture, consider staying at a B&B in the town center. Elegant on the outside and comfortable on the inside, B&Bs in this area offer airy rooms and modern conveniences suitable for every budget. If you wish to avoid the crowds of the city's central areas, explore the lodgings offered by private guesthouses on the edge of town. Located in quiet residential zones, they provide access to private outdoor spaces and secure parking, just a short drive from the old town's shops and restaurants.
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Google
4.8
  • Sadly the exterior was being renovated but worth a visit to see the inside which was sombre but worth a look.This was built over a long period from 1549-1646 and is a good example of baroque style  more »
  • The outside of the Basilica is being renovated so all you see is a picture of the outside. The inside is worth seeing. They have two paper mache sculptures at the front which are amazing.  more »
  • How disappointing! According to the signs the renovation started in 2007 and should have been completed several years ago - but it is covered by a photo strung on scaffolding.  more »
Google
  • Baroque church, airy and light, not overburdened, yet only few simple windows. Rich decorations. Most admirably the coats of arms of Italy s powers at their time
  • Facade was under construction, but the well lit interior was interesting.
  • So beautiful at night and during the day
  • 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!
  • Rhythm rr