The Basilica of San Frediano is a Romanesque church in Lucca, Italy, situated on the Piazza San Frediano.
Fridianus (Frediano) was an Irish bishop of Lucca in the first half of the 6th century. He had a church built on this spot, dedicated to St. Vincent, a martyr from Zaragoza, Spain. When Fridianus was buried in this church, the church was renamed Ss. Frediano and Vincenzo. Soon afterwards, a community of Augustinian canons was growing around this church. In the Longobard era, the church and the canon house were enlarged. In 1104, this order was recognized by Pope Paschal II. The prior of St. Frediano was later accorded a rank equal in dignity to that of a bishop.
The church acquired its present appearance of a typical Roman basilica during the period 1112-1147. In the 13th-14th centuries the striking façade was decorated with a huge golden 13th century mosaic representing The Ascension of Christ the Saviour with the apostles below. Berlinghiero Berlinghieri designed it in a Byzantine/medieval style.
The Basilica of San Frediano, which overlooks the square with the same name, dates back to the 6th century and is one of the oldest churches in Lucca. Initially dedicated to St. Vincent, the basilica later took the name of its founder and bishop of Lucca, San Frediano, whose remains lie in the crypt built in the second half of the 8th century.
Over time, the building has undergone numerous restorations. However, the medieval features of the church are still prominent today. The most striking feature of the basilica of San Frediano is a lavish mosaic, dating from the 13th century, which covers the façade. The mosaic depicts the ascension of Christ the Saviour with the apostles below, ascending to heaven carried by angels.
The interior of the church is divided into a nave and two aisles and two symmetric arches supported by columns. Among the many chapels and relics found inside, a few highlights include the chapel of St. Augustine crowned with frescoes by the painter Amico Aspertini (1474-1552), the chapel of the Tenta family whose tombstones and altar are the work of Jacopo della Quercia (circa 1374-1438), and the 12th century baptismal font, still in use today and located in the baptistery.
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