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San Salvatore al Monte

Michelangelo's 'Little Country Lass'

San Salvatore al Monte

Up the steps behind Piazzale Michelangelo, and overshadowed by San Miniato just above it, San Salvatore al Monte (1499) replaces an older, structurally unsound church built by the Observant Franciscans. Purposely plain, designed by Cronaca under the auspices of the Arte di Calimala, whose eagle adorns the faced. Michelangelo, who spent a lot of time on the hill working on the city walls, became quite fond of it and called it la mia bella villanella, his 'little country lass'.

The convent was damaged in the Siege of 1529, and as its conditioned worsened, in 1665 the friars relocated to Ognissanti, taking most of the art with them (although the Franciscans have since returned). The steps, a killer on a hot day, are used as a Via Crucis during Holy Week.

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Renaissance Art & Architecture

Churches, Cloisters and Convents

Text © Dana Facaros & Michael Pauls

Images by Sailko, GNU Creative Commons License, Sailko, GNU Free Documentation License