Sacred destination – San Michele in Foro
Lucca is a beautiful place that is home to various beautiful Romanesque churches right from the 6the century. The strategic location of the city made it a very popular one among the wealthy people and the pilgrims. It was a walled city that is very attractive with many fascinating monuments that take you back to the 10th and 12th centuries. One such amazing place is San Michele in Foro that is known for its interesting facades and is situated in Lucca, Italy. This wonderful church is witness to various events since the 12th century and claims to be among the most spectacular monuments of its times.
The location of the church is of high importance and is mentioned in its name; the forum. The forum was an important place for the public in ancient times. Earlier there was the Public Palace present on this square, just next to the church but that then shifted to the Augusta Fortress.
About San Michele in Foro
The monument is a stunning facade that rises in 4 tiers and resembles a wedding cake. The magnificent marble facade is one of the main highlights of the church and the finest example of Pisan Romanesque style. The facades are narrow and tall and comprise of four tiers of arcades where two are freestanding loggia. The lower section of the facade faces the light grey and white marble blocks with blind arcades that have striped arches. What makes it interesting is the three-dimensional diamond shape given to the arch. The central part is designed with architrave where the dragon is slain by St. Michael. The columns are a piece of art where each one is different from the other and created with intricate designs and whimsical sculptures. You can check the beautiful acanthus leaf capitals, some with a human head or flowers or animals. The column further joins other columns with the arch. Towering above the tiers is the huge Archangel Michael, that is something you would never expect to be so beautiful. The carving of Archangel Michele is clean and beautiful with wings that are hinged. So if you happen to look up and see the glimmer of the finger ring, you are lucky. The bell tower is in the southern transept that can never be missed. The facade is interestingly taller than that church itself, although it does look stunning.
The wonderful interiors
The interiors have a soothing effect on visitors. It is dimly lit and very subtle designed and comes with the exuberant facade. Notice the features that attract attention easily. The pavement is found in white and grey and is recognized to be of the medieval times. The marble columns are of Corinthian capitals. The interiors are highlighted with the terracotta image of Madonna and Child by the artist Andrea della Robbia and also a 15th century painted wall of saints like Helen, Roch, Jerome, Sebastian that is done by Filippo Lippi. Yes, you can see important people of those times in paintings here and not people from the biblical or the mythology. The church is Basilica and has three aisles and with a semicircular apse. Actually there are two aisles and one nave and is itself a piece of art. The aisles come with transept design with a semicircular apse. Observe the magnificent nave with the multiple arcades supporting it. Besides, in the chancel there is the Byzantine style crucifix made in wood that attracts attention. This piece is created by painter Berlignhiero Berlinghieri and Tuscan sculptor.
The importance of San Michele
Without any doubt, it is one of the most enchanting historical structures of Lucca. This Roman Catholic Church was the seat of Consiglio Maggiore, who was the Major Council here and was considered as very significant assembly during that time. In fact, the church was actually dedicated to Archangel Michael. Visitors simply cannot miss this place for its architectural beauty and the by -gone era that it represents with so much life in it. Enjoy the monument with its exquisite art work and the sculptures and intricate designs.