Saturday, October 12, 2013

San Miniato Al Monte

After the usual recon in town, we took bus #12 up to the Piazza Michaelangelo, ignored it, and walked around the corner and up the hill to the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte. A great old Romanesque church plus incredible views of the city, sans turbusses and the seas of witless humanity.
The 11th century church of St. Miniato; St. Miniato--of course
you want to know--was a 3rd century Armenian soldier who
was martyred, after many unsuccessful attempts, by
beheading; undaunted by this setback, he picked up his
head and marched up the hill to the site of the present monastery
and church; sound familiar? Hey, it worked in France

If you're going to be martyred, get a nice view


Inside; pretty thoroughly Romanesque;
wooden roof; gorgeous frescoes of various
ages all along the walls

Another day, another Pantokrator; huge mosaic generally
suggests the place is 11th or 12th century; Miniato is the
one offering his earthly crown to the Pantokrator

Frescoes on the sacristy walls

Sacristy ceiling; four gospel evangelists

We stayed through the service, sung by just four monks,
including this very old man

Beautiful place; the early 13th century floor
is a "carpet of marble," featuring, among other
designs, a zodiac

View out the door

The monastery gift shoppe sells gelato;
one of several clever ads on the premises

Tuscan sunset

Beautiful monastery grounds

Nice to be back in Florence

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