The “Temple of Italian Glories”, that is how the “Basilica di Santa Croce” or Basilica of the Holy Cross of Firenze is known; located in front of a large square that also bears the same name. In this church great glories of the history of Italy have been buried, among them: Michelangelo, Galileo Galilei, Rossini and Machiavelli.
In addition, in the Basilica di Santa Croce there is a sarcophagus destined for Durante di Alighiero degli Alighieri or Dante. However, when he died, he was buried in Ravenna for being exiled from Firenze.
The origin of the basilica dates back to the first community of Franciscan monks who arrive in Firenze and build a chapel outside the city walls, specifically in a swamp. This chapel was replaced by the Basilica that we see today. The construction of the new temple was completed in the year 1385, but it is not until the year 1442 that it is consecrated by Pope Eugene IV.
The Basilica di Santa Croce is the largest Franciscan church in the world. After having been consecrated more constructions and additions to the church of 16 chapels were performed. The facade that was originally shown as unfinished is really part of the Franciscan austerity practices. Today it shows a neo-Gothic style of the 19th century. The bell tower that had been partially destroyed by lightning was rebuilt in 1842.
The 1966 floods of the Arno River caused much damage to the Basilica di Santa Croce. Since then, renovations are continuously carried out in the structure.