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The Basilica of St. Dominic

In the heart of Arezzo rises majestically the Basilica of St. Dominic, a monument of inestimable historical, artistic and spiritual value. Dedicated to the founder of the Order of the Friars Preachers, this basilica with its asymmetrical facade and rich interior heritage testifies to the profound cultural and religious influence of the Dominicans in the city.
Basilica di San Domenico - Basilica of St. Dominic

The Basilica of St. Dominic, dedicated to the founder of the Dominican Order of Friars Preachers, is one of the city’s most beautiful places of worship and most important buildings.

Originals and Construction of the Basilica of San Domenico

The Basilica of St. Dominic, with its distinctive asymmetrical facade, stands as an artistic and religious symbol in Arezzo’s square of the same name. Founded by the initiativa of Dominican friars around 1240, construction of the building, along with an adjoining convent, continued until the dawn

fourteenth century. During this period, important Arezzo families, particularly the Ubertini and Tarlati families, contributed significantly to the construction of the structure. In terms of architectural style, the Basilica of San Domenico shows obvious similarities with the Basilica of Sant

a Maria Novella in Florence.

History and Cultural Significance

The interior walls of the basilica were, during the 14th and early 15th centuries, the main field of action for the local school of painting. The latter was strongly influenced by Sienese and Florentine models, but retained unique characteristics. Art inside

of the basilica testifies to the fusion of styles and influences that have characterized Arezzo over the centuries. Despite various historical vicissitudes, the Basilica of San Domenico remains a place where art and faith meet, bearing witness to the city’s rich cultural heritage.

The Basilica found its importance in world history early on, since as early as 1276 it was the site of the first Conclave in the history of the Church of Rome.

However, the Basilica could not protect itself from the changes of history. In fact, the building was decommissioned in 1782, following the attempted reform of religious orders by the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, and remained abandoned until the 20th century.

Where is the Basilica located

The precious Basilica is located in the eponymous square of San Domenico, not far from the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donato. Reaching it from the B&B Antiche Mura is very easy: just walk up to the statue of Ferdinand III in front of the B&B and proceed to the left for about a hundred meters.

In these few steps the basilica will show itself in all its grandeur, which contrasts with the almost monastic simplicity of its interior.

The Basilica of San Domenico and its beauty

Inside, the Basilica is immediately striking in its beauty: twelve single-lancet windows perfectly illuminate the single nave, which is adorned with famous 14th-century frescoes and paintings. The counter façade features two important works of the Aretine Renaissance: frescoes with a beauty

evocative. The first work, on the left wall, is “Saints Philip and James Minor and stories of their lives and Saint Catherine”, painted by Spinello Aretino. On the right wall, however, we find “The Crucifixion between the Virgin, St. Nicholas, St. John and St.

Domenico,” by Spinello’s son ,Parri di Spinello.

One of the basilica’s most important attractions is the funeral monument of Beato Angelico, one of the greatest painters of the Italian Renaissance. The monument, located in the right aisle of the church, is the work of Andrea della Robbia and is considered one of his most important works.

The church houses extremely interesting works: the most famous work we can find is definitely the Crucifix of San Domenico, painted by the famous Cimabue. This Crucifix is a significant example of Cimabue’s style, emblematic in its depiction of the human figure and

in his use of light and color. The figure of Jesus Crucified represents an important step toward Renaissance painting by demonstrating a growing sensitivity to naturalistic representation. The work is a veritable treasure in the history of Italian Art and is a

wonderful of Cimabue’s abilities.

Inside the Basilica we also find sculptures of the highest artistic and historical significance, including the monumental Gothic altar by Giovanni di Francesco da Firenze and glazed terracotta by Giovanni and Giacomo della Robbia.

The Basilica of San Domenico. UNESCO heritage site

The Basilica became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998 as part of Arezzo’s historic-artistic complex that also includes Piazza Grande and the Cathedral of San Donato.

A must-see

The Basilica di San Domenico di Arezzo is a must-see for all who visit the city and is a splendid example of Tuscan Gothic art and architecture. Its historical and artistic value makes it a world-famous tourist destination.

Discover the other wonders of downtown Arezzo with us at Antiche Mura!

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As we have seen the Basilica of San Domenico is really just around the corner, but don’t think the surprises end there! The center of Arezzo, all around our Antiche Mura Bed and Breakfast, is a melting pot of different historical eras and artistic currents.

Keep exploring our website to get an idea of the beauty you can visit when you come to visit us. You will discover that also waiting for you will be the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Donato, the Home Museum of Ivan Bruschi or, for fans of humanism, the

Native House of Francesco Petrarch. Do not hesitate, we are waiting for you at Antiche Mura!

The beautiful photo is by the Arezzo photographer Raul Dominici.

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