The Church of San Francesco is situated in the city of Lucca in the homonymous square. The presence of Franciscans made it relevant in 1228. However, the reconstruction also began around the 14th century to enlarge the structure. The church has the tomb of Giovanni Guidiccioni bishop who was also a poet and a humanist. There is a plaque in memory of Castruccio Castracani of Antelminelli, who was a leader in Lucca and also a respected citizen. Besides, this you will find the tomb of Ugolino Visconti - the Governor of Pisa. In fact, his chest and bowels were also present in the church but got lost during the renovation.
Architecture of Church of San Francesco
The facade is the most interesting and important part of the exterior part of the structure. The facade was however completed in 1930. The whole facade can be seen built with limestone with bands alternating with gray limestone. It was unfinished till 1930. The facade has two large blocks of white limestone and gray that is arranged in horizontal rows that are parallel. The section below has the attractive portal with painted sides and bezel along with two blind arches with sarcophagi. At the top section is the canopy with four coasts made in marble that depicts the symbol of "Franciscan order". The church is built with bricks with trussed roof. The addition of the three chapel’s presbytery was done in the 15th century. The interiors were completed in the 14th and the 17th centuries. In 1840, the church was under the property of the private citizens. The paintings too were moved to the museums of the city. Later the large church also had a monastery and a conventual center, three cloisters, and various other buildings. The architecture is simple, and the new presbyteries chapels were added only in the 14th and 15th century. The paintings by Domenico Passignano and Federico Zuccari are found inside the church and are the significant attractions inside. Reconstruction work always took place and in 1844 the building was restored. In 1868 however, the church was turned into a warehouse under the military. Later in 1910, the church was back for worship after which the facade was completed.
Inside the church, you see the work of prominent artists of that time. There are the frescoes of Florentine school, the monument of Guidiccioni and sarcophagi of Ricciardi. There is a classroom inside the church with a single nave that comes covered with beamed ceiling of wood and is lit by mullioned windows. The side walls are decorated with frescoes monochrome. Various side altars can be seen here that are done in marble. The apse is done on the aisle and has a covered vault with two chapels. The chapel to the right has the painting series of Biagio Baldassarre del Firenze. Enclosed by Balustrade is the presbytery for the Baroque high altar. Various graves can be seen inside the church of prominent people. The central pillar is an attraction and is built to support the archways. The crucifix at the center of the altar is magnificent and attracts attention. The intricate work on glass windows is prominent as well. Get a closer look at the various arts displayed here that is simply marvelous.
The church has been restored completely and is now ready for visits. The new look is very attractive that is made with delicate restorations with the original classic architecture that is magnificent in itself. Visitors will never miss the tall structure built in the middle of the square of the city of Lucca.