The Miracle of the Madonna Annunziata

Nov
2013
04

posted by on History & Culture

 
Santissima Annunziata square in Florence

Santissima Annunciata church in Florence photo by dleiva on Flickr

With so many beautiful sights in this wonderful Renaissance city, it is impossible to be stuck for ideas on what to see in Florence. One of the things that draws people here, is the number of beautiful churches in Florence. From the oldest church in the city, San Lorenzo, to the unique façade of the Santo Spirito church and of course, the incredible cathedral dome, there are many to choose from. But one of the most special churches has to be Florence’s Santissima Annunziata; said to be the site of a miracle…

The Basilica of Santissima Annunziata can be found on the piazza of the same name. It is home to Florence’s oldest church organ, as well as an amazing marble temple by Michelozzo which is worshipped in honour of the annunciation. You can also see a great many frescoes here, especially in the side chapels. The church interior is simply stunning, as it is adorned with beautiful Baroque decorations, as well as coloured marble panels which tell the stories of the Annunciate.

This church was constructed in 1250. It was actually founded by a group of noblemen who had decided to give up worldly pleasures and take monastic vows instead. The story goes that a few years later, one of the monks named Friar Bartolomeo, began working on a painting of the Annunciation. However, the task was too great for Bartolomeo, who, upon realising that he was unable to create an image of the Virgin Mary which would justify her beauty, abandoned the painting. He fell into a troubled sleep, disturbed by the fact that he was incapable of creating an accurate depiction. Yet when he later woke up, he realised with disbelief, that a supernatural hand had finished his painting…

After this miracle occurred, people came from far and wide to visit, all wanting to see this miraculous place. Many pilgrims came here and a great number of them left behind offerings. Not small gifts however, but life-size wax models of themselves! In 1516, it became necessary to build a special atrium just to accommodate them all, and by the late 1700s, there were more than 600 of them! You can no longer see these bizarre offerings as they were actually melted down to make candles!

You can explore the Santissima Annunziata, as well as many other famous Florence sites, on one of our private Florence Tours. Our guided grand tour of Florence combines all the best parts of the city with a tour of the beautiful Tuscan landscape. Will you witness a miracle on your tour of Florence?!

Tags: , ,

Comments are closed.

66 queries in 2.553 seconds.