The Church of San Lorenzo is considered to be the oldest Church in Florence as the first early construction dates back to year 393 when it was first consecrated. For three hundred years has had the role of cathedral, before giving this status to Santa Reparata, when they were transferred the remains of the first bishop of Florence , San Zanobi.
It was enlarged and re-consecrated the first time in 1059, when the cloister was added next to the church. In the fifteenth century was commissioned a new enlargement but works were going particularly slow and the history of the building of this magnificent church has suffered many difficulties during completion. Many of Medici family and rich Florentines merchants have contributed financing restoration and further edification including Giovanni dei Medici and his son Cosimo dei Medici.
Cosimo dei medici was the first of the Medici family to be buried in San Lorenzo, following by most of the other members of the family. Over the decades many of the greatest master of works from Brunelleschi (who built the old sacristy ) to Michelozzo, architect of the nearer Palazzo Medici Riccardi, and the famous Michelangelo (who has designed the facade) have continued the construction of the church.
Internally the church offers a great collection of masterworks from Donatello, Francesco Lippi, Antonio del Pollaiolo.
The organs of San Lorenzo
The church of San Lorenzo has also examples of great organs for Church, the second one and most grandiose, was built in 1864-1865 by the famous factory of organs of the Brothers Serassi of Bergamo at the behest of the Italian government. It is located in the apse, at the top.
The lavish and impressive musical instrument consists of three keyboards and pedals with seventy keys each and 64 registers, the console is a masterpiece of wood making, with fine carvings and very well ornate. The transmission system is entirely mechanical and very original.
The Old and New Sacristy What You Shouldn’t Miss!
So by exiting the Church you should look and remember the Old and new Sacristy which are true masterpieces of the times. The Old Sacristy is a masterpiece of the fifteenth century ( 1421-1428 ), was the first part of San Lorenzo to be completed by Brunelleschi, on behalf of the Medici who wished to have there their own mausoleum. The frescoes of the dome in the apse depict the cosmological situation of the Sun and the constellations, as it appeared on Florence on the night of July 4, 1442.
The New Sacristy was instead built by Michelangelo between 1521 and 1534 , for the Medici to have a proper burial for family members. Michelangelo started from the same blueprint of the Sacristy by Brunelleschi but divided the space into more complex forms.
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