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San Gimignano is a town rich in art and culture. Much of its beauty is contained in the churches that the city offers. Here’s an overview of what you’ll have the chance to admire during your visit to San Gimignano.
San Gimignano - the churches
- Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta – Cathedral
Better known as the Cathedral Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta is the most important religious building of San Gimignano. The church was founded as a simple parish church in 1000 before being officially consecrated in 1148 by Pope Eugene III. The church was enlarged and embellished until the late seventeenth century. The entire interior of the basilica is decorated with frescoes of the Stories of the New and the Old Testament including the wonderful fresco of the Martyrdom of St. Sebastian.
- Sant’Agostino Church
Ended to construct in 1298, the Church of St. Augustine still maintains its original facade characterized by an architecture by simplicity. The cloister, on the other hand, was built in the fifteenth century as well as the decoration of the church, in true Renaissance style. The Church is accessed through the Gate of St. Matthew and something special not to miss is the Chapel of Blessed Bartolo of which are the remains of a beautiful marble monument.
- Church of Santo Bartolo
The small Romanic Church of St. Bartolo bears the name of a famous saint who died in San Gimignano in 1229 who took care of leprosy patients at the hospital at Cellole. The property dates back to 1173 and, at first, was dedicated to St. Matthew.
Known as the Church of San Piero this small religious building is located near the convent of the Augustinian monks. The facade is simple and characterized by the rose window overlooking the front door panel. To be seen the frescoes inside which some critics have attributed to Lippo Memmi.
- San Jacopo Church
Tradition tells that the church was built by the Knights Templar to the return of the First Crusade, but probably the structure that we know today is to be dated to a later period. The interior has a single nave and contains some frescoes on the life of St. James.
- Church of San Girolamo
- Church of San Lorenzo
The lovely facade and the small bell tower are the main features of the exterior of this church which is located near the former prison of San Domenico. Inside, to be seen the frescoes on the life of St. Benedict and the one depicting Christ with the Virgin Mary and the 12 apostles