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- Santa Croce: Detail of main portal and colored marble facade ›
Santa Croce: Detail of main portal and colored marble facade
The neo-Gothic marble façade, by Nicolò Matas, dates from 1857-1863.
The Basilica is the largest Franciscan church in the world. It is the burial place of some of the most illustrious Italians, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli, Foscolo, Gentile, Rossini, and Marconi, thus it is known also as the Temple of the Italian Glories (Tempio dell'Itale Glorie). Additions made in 1560 by Giorgio Vasari; facade dates to 1857-1863. It is an aisled basilica with a timber roof, transepts, and five rectangular chapels on either side of the polygonal choir. Many features of Santa Croce are reminiscent of Arnolfo's project for Florence Cathedral. These include the wide central vessel and narrow aisles, the broad span of the main arcade arches, the polygonal piers and the open-truss roof. The clear articulation of the interior, the deliberate emphasis on wall surfaces and their rectilinear, thoughtfully proportioned organization by means of narrow window openings, pilaster strips and horizontal gallery also indicate Arnolfo's responsibility for the work.