The beautiful churches of medieval period need to be admired for their beauty and the strength of the structures that have made them last through so many centuries: Church of Sant'Alessandro is one of them that represent the style and the glory of a period that has gone by. Founded in the 9th century, this church was first located in the middle of Lucca city, which was inside the blocks of the streets of the Roman city. The date of construction is not known. It was very close to Piazza San Michele in Foro. Pope Alexander II, who was the bishop of Lucca, wished to have a crypt in which was laid the body of St. Alexander. The crypt was built around 1071. In the 13th century the structure was an important place for civic activities and housed the Curia dei Foretani which means the place of justice. The church is very well preserved and is a classic example of medieval times.
The church is Lucchese-Romanesque style architecture and was rebuilt around the 9th century and by the 12th century the apse was completed. The decor is quite vibrant and one can see colors on it that are playfully done on the hanging arches and marble marquetries. The facade is seen in white color made with limestone and has stripes that are done in gray and white. The white limestone are smooth with low bands and the apertures frame the sculptures. There are geometric designs on the facade that are similar to the ancient roman style. The arches too are of Roman style in the church. The structure is not huge like the other churches, but elegant in its own way with smooth limestone facade and the simple design that makes it stand out from others.
The existing building presents two different phases of the structure. One from the 9th to the 11th century that is the lower facade that comes with a portal of classic style and the white look given to it. The structure is similar to that of the Roman opus quadratum pseudoisodomum. There are different colored marble columns in the western part with Corinthian capitals. In the 11th to 12th centuries, the eastern part was created with Romanesque capitals with monochromatic colonnades. The upper facade was decorated in the 16th century with new additions like the vault and the shrine. In the 15th century, reconstruction was held to give its present look. However, experts say that the construction say it is a primitive construction and was carried out before the Romanesque age.
It is a basilica type of layout that comprises of three naves that are on the beautiful columns and contains capitals found in cross-shaped vaults. The semi-circular apse is also seen here that is quite attractive. The construction inside is flawless and provides a balanced facade with a simple design to it. The insides are divided into functional sections and have a liturgical route with each and every detail. The details of the sculpture are unique in terms that it is created with various kinds of elements, but with fine details on it. The designs that we see are inspired from the earlier centuries, and the rest is set in the 12th century itself. Who created it is still unknown, but the facts remain that there is a mix of styles and someone outside of the country could have carried out the detailing. It’s a delight to witness this marvelous structure of the early century.