In the 15C the Collegiata was extended and among the additions was a special chapel to its local Santa Fina (who died in 1253).The chapel has two paintings of her deathbed and her funeral painted by Ghirlandaio. Inn the central part of the church there are also several works by Benozzo Gozzoli.
The inner surface of the west facade is covered with frescos depicting Paradise, the Last Judgement and vigorous scenes of Hell. The outer aisle walls are covered with Bible scenes of the Old (left) and New Testaments (right). The facade is the work of Taddeo di Bartolo, while the Old Testament is done by Bartolo di Fredi. Some think the right wall was mostly done by Barna di Siena until he fell to his death while creating the Crucifixion. (Alternately the work is attributed to Lippi Memmi and his family).
Inside the nave of the church, it resembles most Tuscan churches of the 12 and 13 C with usually seven lateral arches created of alternating white and dark stone. Above this are Byzantine decorations covering the upper inner nave walls. These are topped by small clerestory windows yielding a dark interior, A narrow window is on the east wall and in front of it is large wooden crucifix.
The major church of the town is at the highest part of the city on the east side of the Piazza del Duomo at the top of a tall staircase. It was bullt in 1239 and originally had a nave and two aisles.and is quite plain on the outside. It has entry doors at the lateral ends of the west facade and a small upper window.
This is the Duomo or main church in San Gimignano, which sits next to the town hall in the Piazza del Duomo. The Romanesque church was consecrated in 1148 and later was finished in the Gothic style. We visited to see the frescoes, which were absolutely amazing! The entrance to the church is on the left side – you have to pay to enter. While we were inside, many people attempted to come through the front door. (Not sure why some kept trying since the door was obviously locked!)
The frescoes cover both long walls of the nave and the back wall (by the front door). One side shows scenes from the Old Testament and the other side has New Testament scenes painted on it. The frescoes were painted by Bartolo di Fredi and students of Memmi. On the back wall was a magnificent (and scary!) fresco of the Last Judgment by Taddeo di Bartolo. As peaceful as the Heaven side looks, the Hell side is just the opposite! I was rather shocked that those paintings were allowed in a church – I realize they were designed to scare people to not sin, but was surprised in how detailed and explicit the various punishments were depicted.
Two interesting things about the frescoes: First, some parts of the frescoes appear to sparkle – this was done when the painters would add crushed marble to their paints to achieve the sparkle effect. The other surprising thing to me is found on the New Testament side. If you look at the faces of anyone that is beating Christ, you will see their faces blurred – this is something called “sympathetic magic” – people actually beat the paintings and thus destroyed the faces.
A very interesting visit if you are into art or enjoy old churches.
When we went to San Gimignano, the Collegiate Church was closed. But, we knew that this church has many sculptures and wooden statues inside that were works of art. There are also frescoes inside which make this church a beautiful church.
This church was consecrated in 1148. According to the history of this church, it has frescoes made by Tadeo di Bartolo.
It also has frescoes like the "The Old and New Testatment", and the "The Last Judgment.
Known simply as il Duomo, la Basilica di Santa Maria Assunta is the main church in San Gimignano. It was once a cathedral, but was reduced to a collegiate when San Gimignano lost its bishop. Although the construction of the existing structure began in 1056 AD, the church was not consecrated until 1148 AD. Over the centuries, several additions and expansions occurred, including the 15th century work on its interior. The plain brick façade conceals a beautiful polychromatic interior with rich artwork. The basilica was originally dedicated to San Gimignano, but was later rededicated to Santa Maria Assunta.
The Collegiata (Cathedral) is the main church in town and it is located on Piazza del Duomo. (It is not officially a cathedral these days as it no longer has a bishop, though it is still called a cathedral everywhere you read).
The Romanesque cathedral was consecrated in the 12th century, though the façade you see today dates from the 13th century. The outside is very plain, but inside is another story. The interior is covered with impressive 14th century frescoes, which cover the walls, telling stories of days gone by.
The Collegiata is actually one of Tuscany's most decorated churches, and is therefore well worth the admission fee (3.50 euro in Sep 2006).
The Collegiata is located over a stair in Piazza del Duomo. It was built in 1056 and dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta. It was restored in 1460 by Giuliano da Maiano.
Inside the church has got three aisles and on the walls and the roof there are wonderful frescoes which were restored after the daming in the Second War World.
On the white facade there are two gateways and three circular windows.
The walls and the roof inside the Collegiata are full of wonderful frescoes. On the wall of the facade you can see the Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian made by Benozzo Gozzoli. The walls of the aisles are painted with scenes of the Old and New Testament made by Lippo and Federico Memmi. On the roof there are frescos made by Ghirlandaio
The Collegiate Church, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, was built in Romanesque style in the 11th century. The front facade of this three naves building is very simple, almost undecorated at all, but the interior is rich of numerous art treasures. Probably the most valuable are two wooden statues carved by Jacopo della Quercia, the Chapel of Saint Fina by Giuliano da Maiano which is the jewel of Renaissance art, and above all frescoe scenes from the New Testament which should be attributed to Simone Martini. This frescoes are considered a milestone of Italian Gothic art.
This 12th century Romanesque church contains a feast of frescoes. In the north aisle the frescoes comprise 26 episodes from the Old Testament (1367) by Bartolo di Fredi. The opposite wall features scenes from the "Life of Christ" (1333-41) by Lippo Memmi, while at the back of the church there are scenes from the "Last Judgement" painted by Taddeo di Bartolo.
The church dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption was built in the 12th century. The church originally overlooked Montestaffoli but was then turned around, with the creation of a new façade and stairways on Piazza del Duomo. The Romanesque building has three naves and its walls guard numerous art treasures.
Just off the Piazza della Cisterna, is the best square of the city, in my humble opinion. Especially in the morning, the sun creeps over the towers and lights up the facade, as you see in this picture. Also, in this square is the Tourist Information and, some mornings, the markets.
The Duomo or Collegiate Church, was consecrated in 1148 and is adorned with valuable Sienese School frescoes: "The Old and the New Testament" (Bartolo di Fredi and the "Bottega dei Memmi" or Barna da Siena); "The Last Judgement" (Taddeo di Bartolo) works of art by the Florentine school: "Stories of St. Fina" (Ghirlandaio), "St. Sebastiano" (Benozzo Gozzoli), wooden statues (Jacopo della Quercia) and the Sculptures (Giuliano and Benedetto da Maiano). Frescoes, statues and sculptures make the Collegiate Church of San Gimignano a very prestigious museum.