Trip Planner: Europe / Italy / Tuscany / Province of Florence / Florence / Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the principal Franciscan church in Florence, Italy, and a minor basilica of the Roman Catholic Church. It is situated on the Piazza di Santa Croce, about 800 meters south-east of the Duomo. The site, when first chosen, was in marshland outside the city walls. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, the poet Foscolo, the philosopher Gentile and the composer Rossini, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories .Plan to visit Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce and other customer-reviewed, writer-recommended Florence attractions using our Florence trip planner.
The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. Its most notable features are its sixteen chapels, many of them decorated with frescoes by Giotto and his pupils, and its tombs and cenotaphs. Legend says that Santa Croce was founded by St Francis himself. The construction of the current church, to replace an older building, was begun on 12 May 1294, possibly by Arnolfo di Cambio, and paid for by some of the city's wealthiest families. It was consecrated in 1442 by Pope Eugene IV. The building's design reflects the austere approach of the Franciscans. The floorplan is an Egyptian or Tau cross (a symbol of St Francis), 115 metres in length with a nave and two aisles separated by lines of octagonal columns. To the south of the church was a convent, some of whose buildings remain.
Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce Reviews
In conjunction with the adjoining Basilica, this museum is chock full of art. What I found most interesting was the history of the 1966 flood and the video showing the restoration of many of the... more »
We loved the artwork in this beautiful church. There is a Who's Who of amazing crypts from Galileo, Michelangelo, Florence Nightingale to other prominent historical figures. This area has been... more »
Great venue and historical
The fourteenth-century cloister is located on the right side of the Basilica façade and introduces you to the Pazzi chapel. It was originally composed of two separate cloisters, one rectangular and one square, which can be clearly identified in the current asymmetrical plant. On the right side of the façade is an indentation where a series of cypress trees surrounds the statues of God the Father seated of Baccio Bandinelli and that of the bronze warrior of Henry Moore. The second cloister has a square score with a central well, the work of 1453 of great elegance, some attributed to Brunelleschi's design, although the intervention of Bernardo Rossellino is more probable. It is made entirely of Pietra Serena, with round arches that hold a small loggia architraved on the first floor. The pendentives between the arches have a refined decoration with graffiti and beaded rounds, with coats of arms and companies.
Plan your trip to Florence
Get a personalized planA complete day-by-day itinerary
based on your preferences
Customize itRefine your plan. We'll find the
best routes and schedules
Book itChoose from the best hotels
and activities. Up to 50% off
Manage itEverything in one place.
Everyone on the same page.
Popular things to do in Florence
See all ›
Hidden gems in Florence
See all ›
See all ›
Nearby attractions in Florence
Plans to Museo dell'Opera di Santa Croce by other users
15 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM February, popular sights Preferences: February Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 8 days in Italy BY A USER FROM TURKEY February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums, popular sights Preferences: February, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, museums Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 21 days in Europe BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA November, popular sights Preferences: November Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 60 days in Italy BY A USER FROM EGYPT May, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems Preferences: May, teens, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife Attraction style: Popular & hidden gems Pace: Fast-paced 56 days in Europe, South America, United States, South Pacific & Asia BY A USER FROM PORTUGAL May, popular sights Preferences: May Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium 15 days in Bologna, Milan & Naples BY A USER FROM COLOMBIA June, popular sights Preferences: June Attraction style: Popular sights Pace: Medium