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Basilica di Santa Croce, Lecce

#2 of 29 in Historic Sites in Lecce
Religious Site · Architectural Building
Built over what was once a marshland, Basilica di Santa Croce is known as the Temple of the Italian Glories. Florence's most prestigious names--including Machiavelli, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Rossini--are entombed here. This is the largest Franciscan church in the world, with 16 chapels that are decorated with frescoes by Giotto. Look for the Star of David over the cathedral's entrance. Jewish architect Nicolò Matas added it in the late 19th century. He designed the marble facade and wanted to be buried among his peers inside the church--but because of his faith, he was buried under the porch outside the church walls. The remains of convent buildings are next to the cathedral. In the old dormitory, you leather-crafting artisans make wallets, belts, and purses that are sold in the shop next door. Use our Lecce trip maker app to add Basilica di Santa Croce and other attractions to your Lecce vacation plans.
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Basilica di Santa Croce reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,258 reviews
  • This was my favorite church based on the exterior. The details are amazing and there is so much to spot on the whole building, from top to bottom. Make sure to stop here.  more »
  • Mad carved facade. You can stand and watch for ages finding lots of different things. Interesting inside too  more »
  • More stunning from the outside it still is a masterpiece of Italian baroque. Some of the columns inside are more detailed and sumptuously sculptured than what you see on most wooden carved decoration.
  • Exterior of Basilica is being renovated so no exterior shot unfortunately. Impressive interiors more than makes up for it. The square in front of the Basilica is also cute.
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