San Michele Plaza in Lucca
Piazza San Michele is a square in Lucca, today the main meeting point of the Lucca area. It is also nicknamed Piazza delle Catene due to the typical delimitation of the square through columns connected by heavy chains.
Piazza San Michele has always been the heart of the historic center of Lucca, the natural outlet of an intricate tangle of narrow streets and alleys that come from the various corners of the city: many different points of view depending on the multiple entrances leading to the square.
It stands on the site of the ancient Roman forum, at the perfect intersection of the two main roads: the Cardo Massimo (from north to south, corresponding to the current Via Fillungo, Via Cenami and Via S. Giovanni) and the Decumanus Maximus (from west to east , today’s Via S. Paolino, Via Roma and Via S. Croce).
From the origins, center of the administrative, political and religious power of the Roman colony, at the heart of the medieval city.
Chiesa di San Michele in Foro
The church of San Michele in Foro is a Catholic place of worship in Lucca which is located in Piazza San Michele.
It is situated on a stone rise bordered by marble columns connected by heavy metal chains and is flanked by a curtain of medieval buildings; in the square there is also a statue in honor of Francesco Burlamacchi.
At the center of the original urban perimeter of the Roman city of Lucca is a very ancient church, San Michele in Foro, located on the area of what was once the Roman Forum. Its presence has been documented since the year 795 even if the current construction, the one that can still be admired today, is due to Pope Alexander II in 1070. Its construction was actually protracted over time but this led to the stratification of several styles ranging from Romanesque to Gothic and which give the building a particularly unusual architecture and irregular proportions.
San Michele is a church with a Latin cross plan, influenced by the Pisan Romanesque style. To characterize it is the high sail façade, rich in sculptures and inlays, adorned with four orders of loggias. On the top stands the huge 4-meter high marble statue with metallic-winged wings of the Archangel Michael that defeats the dragon.
Legend has it that when the day is particularly bright, you can see a sparkle that comes from the very top and that would be an emerald left in the statue in ancient times that has never been found.
Among the figures that decorate the arches of the façade we can see some key figures of the Italian Risorgimento such as Cavour, Vittorio Emanuele and Giuseppe Garibaldi and, for those looking at the twelfth column from the left of the first order, one can see the face of Ettruda, abbess of the church in the Lombard period.
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DETAILS SAN MICHELE IN FORO LUCCA