Lucca is an old city that comprise of numerous churches that are truly very stunning built around the 12th century. All the churches have something special in them, and one of them is the Church of Santa Maria Forisportam. The church is a large one that attracts attention and a must visit when you are in the city of Lucca.
About the Church
The Church of Santa Maria Forisportam lies near the main street and is outside the gate of the city, and its name indicated its location outside the city walls. It is also commonly called the Church of Santa Maria White because it is a marble structure in white limestone. It is located beyond the roman walls and so it has become a great attraction for the tourists. The church is a Roman Catholic Church that is built in a beautiful Romanesque style. It has been found that the site already had a church before the 12th century and was inside the wall of Lucca. From time to time, renovations were done, and additions were also seen at different periods. The church comprises of a monastery and a cloister as well. The church was constructed in the 12th century with the Pisan style facade. Within the Church are the two Guercino paintings from the 17th century. Besides there is a Giottesque Assumption by Angelo Puccinelli along with angels that are seen from clouds. Across the church is the Porta San Gervasio made of sandstone that is a gate that has been preserved since 1260.
The upper part of the Church was completed later in the 16thcentury. The Church is built in marble with tiered galleries that are above high blind arcading and come with diamond patterns. The portals come with animal and floral designs that are the point of attraction as well. There is the fascinating incomplete front that they say was rebuilt and is strikingly different than the rest of the facade. It also comes with blind arcading. The bricks stand out from the white stone but look like a topping. The galleries are of different sized columns and have a trinity of portals with marble pilasters. No one knows the identity of the architect but is seen in Pisan style. On the central portal is the relief of "Coronation of Virgin", which is truly attractive.
Inside the Church
Inside the Church, you will find early Christian sarcophagus and the tables by Guercino. The interiors were truly enhanced only in the 17th century. There are various architectural findings here like the polugonal shrine that is created with semi-precious stones. There are also two baptismal fonts as well. Besides, there are various artworks that are on display that are truly admired by the visitors. Another artwork that you will love is that of Guercino. One is the St Lucy on the fourth altar, and the other is the black Assumption in the north transept. Another interesting fact is all the interiors of the church are stand on a sundial in "dark room".