This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘Romanesque’

St. George’s Basilica, Prague Castle

Posted by Avital Pinnick on December 11, 2013


St. George’s Basilica is the oldest church in the Prague castle complex. Although it was founded in 920, most of the present building was constructed in 1142 after a major fire. The 17th century facade of the basilica is early Baroque, so I expected a dark interior with twisted columns, lots of little chapels. I certainly wasn’t expecting a Romanesque interior.


The nave is often described as austere and monumental. The tomb with the rose belongs to a member of the Přemyslovci (Premyslid) family. The Přemyslovci were the first royal Czech dynasty, ruling the Czech principality and parts of Poland and Hungary until the early 1300s.




The Gothic chapel of St. Ludmila of Bohemia (first Czech martyr and the grandmother of Wenceslas) is not accessible to the public but I managed to get a shot of the entrance and grillwork from the main nave.


The crypt is 12th century, with a black statue of Brigitte. She is portrayed with a decaying girl’s body, representing human frailty and mortality. The Přemyslovci rulers were buried in this crypt, before St. Vitus cathedral was built.


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Basilica of San Miniato al Monte, Florence

Posted by Avital Pinnick on September 23, 2012

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

The Basilica of San Miniato al Monte in Florence is situated on one of the highest points of the city, above Piazzale de Michelangelo. San Miniato has been called one of the most beautiful churches in Italy and one of the finest Romanesque structures in Tuscany. I reached the church about 15 minutes before closing time, so these photos really don’t do it justice! I didn’t get to the crypt or the famous “Cardinal of Portugal” chapel.

The earliest parts of the building date to 1018, although the upper parts of the facade were finished in the twelfth century or later.

The trussed ceiling of the nave (below) was decorated in 1322. The vivid colours, however, are a legacy of the restoration carried out in 1860-61.

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

Below, a view of the central nave with the tabernacle at the bottom of the photo. The gold altar panels, begun by Agnolo Gaddi in 1394, represent Saint John Gualberto and Saint Minias, the martyr to whose memory the basilica is dedicated (he is said to have been beheaded by the Romans and to have picked up his head, crossed the Arno River, and walked up to his hermitage).

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

Below is a detail of the Romanesque marble pulpit (1209), decorated with an eagle, a monk, and a lion. The pulpit and the rood screen (decorated wall below) were constructed at the same time.

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

The Christos Pantocrator mosaic in the apse is in the Byzantine style, artist unknown (ca. 1260).

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

These frescoes, in the sacristy, depict the life of Saint Benedict and are attributed to Spinello Aretino (1387 -1388). For a panoramic view of the sacristy, go to this site.

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

Side altar and frescoes at the end of the right aisle.

San Miniato al Monte, Florence

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