San Lanfranco Church

Pavia, Italy

San Lanfranco is a Romanesque-style Roman Catholic church and former abbey. A paleochristian church at the site, dedicated to the Holy Sepulcher (Santo Sepolcro) was located near here, and the first documentation of a monastery here date to 1090. The monastery became associated with the Vallumbrosan Order, and hosted the bishop Lanfranco Beccaria, till his death in 1198. Pope Alexander III elevated Lanfranco to sainthood the next year. This church, which held his relics, was rebuilt starting about this time, and leading to consecration in 1236, with the bell-tower dating to 1237, and the facade to 1257. The small cloister was designed in 1476 by the architect Giovanni Antonio Amadeo. Amadeo also designed and sculpted the elements of the Arca di San Lanfranco which serves as funereal monument and tomb to the saint.

Located outside the walls of Pavia, the abbey was frequently requisitioned by armies besieging the town. Over the years a number of events, including floods and fires, damaged the church and abbey. Soon after 1782, the monastery was suppressed.

While the exterior of the church is mainly plain brick, the interior still contains frescoes from the 13th to 15th centuries. Among the most notable, is a fresco depicting the murder of St Thomas Becket, whose life had parallels with San Lanfranco. The remains of the small cloister include Romanesque carvings on the columns. The larger cloister has 15th century Renaissance style decorations in the capitals. The tomb of the Saint (Arca de San Lanfranco) was completed from 1498-1508 with designs by Amedeo, and is notable for the carved bas-reliefs by Amedeo and his followers depicting the life of the Saint.

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Address

Via Riviera, Pavia, Italy
See all sites in Pavia

Details

Founded: 11th century
Category: Religious sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anna (5 months ago)
Beautiful ancient church that stood on the bank of the Ticino in the middle of the woods, with an adjoining monastery of the Monks of Vallombrosa who founded the church dedicating it to the Holy Sepulcher. Then the new church was built where Bishop Lanfranco was buried, in the marble ark. The structure is a Latin cross, with a single nave, late Romanesque architecture, many important frescoes, two cloisters, a beautiful bell tower ... It is worth a guided tour!
Ales Gandini (6 months ago)
Historic and charming church very.picturesque 1 beautiful place that is worth a lot to be visited.
isabel Panchana (6 months ago)
Beautiful Church !!! Too bad I can't find the opening hours.
Luca Tirnusciolo (11 months ago)
Dating back to the 12th century, it contains the tomb of Bishop Lanfranco Beccari, built in 1498 by the sculptor and architect Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, the great sculptor and architect born in Pavia who worked for both the Certosa and the cathedral together with Bramante. Inside the church there is a fresco, one of the oldest in the city (13th century), discovered in 1930 under the plaster, depicting the murder of Thomas Becket. The scene portrays the bishop wearing the chasuble while being hit by five hit men. The façade is gabled, tripartite and narrow at the sides by two voluminous buttresses. In the middle part there are circular openings, in the center the square stone portal. The front is surmounted by a blind loggia, typical of the Pavese Romanesque. The upper part is decorated with ceramic basins (examples of archaic pavese majolica). The bell tower which dates back to 1237 is closer to the Lombard Romanesque: Inside there is a marble sepulchral ark that houses the body of San Lanfranco Beccari. work by Giovanni Antonio Amadeo, The construction of the ark dates back to 1489 and was commissioned by the abbot Pietro Pallavicini de 'Scipione.
Vincenzo Fietti (21 months ago)
Molto freddo
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