Eglises et Musées , Lecce et Salento: Guide Lecce et Salento: Italie - Nozio 0%

Guide de Lecce et Salento, Italie

Auteur: Nozio

Lecce et Salento Eglises Et MuséEs, Italie

Lecce has an enormous artistic heritage, so much so that the city is also called the "Florence of the south." Visiting it, you emerge into an open-air museum, where Leccese stone strengthens all the palaces, the churches, and the forts. Lecce is also one of the Italian capitals of the Baroque, which in this context has found a formidable expression, also thanks to the excellent characteristics of local stone, simple to work and carve. With the passing of time, Leccese stone becomes harder and assumes that particular warm color that made this city famous.

Basilica di Santa Croce

This is the undisputed star of the Baroque scene in Lecce, made by three different architects: Riccardi, Penna and Zimbalo.

The facade of the basilica was conceived of as a gigantic altar. There is a lower area, more somber and measured, with a great sense of perspective, while the upper section, made by Penna and Zimbalo is a true explosion of Baroque forms. The facade has a rich iconography, represents the triumph of the Christian faith over pagan myths and Islam, also a memory of the defeat of the Turks in 1571 in Lepanto.
The balcony holding animal and human figures (Moors and Muslims) opens on the most incredible part of the facade. In the center the great rose window opens, surrounded by a triumphant collection of flowers, garlands, angels and cherubs; from the first look it sets the senses ablaze, surprising the observer with its marvels.

The interior has great harmony of line. The Baroque spirit is centered on the altar (by Zimbalo) with twelve bas-reliefs telling of the life of San Francesco di Paola.

The Cathedral

which with the Bishop's Palace, the Seminario and the bell tower faces the centrally-located and attractive piazza Duomo.

It was built by architect Antonio Zimbalo in 1670. It is unusual for the presence of two monumental facades: a first side, facing the bishop’s palace, somber and simple, and another, highly decorated, facing the entrance to the piazza with great scenic effect. The interior, rich in works of art, is an interesting example of Leccese Baroque master works. The crypt must not be missed: it is supported by 92 columns with capitals decorated with the most unusual forms.

Church of Sant'Irene

Dedicated to the protector of the city, the church was built between 1591 and 1639; it has the least Baroque character among the churches in Lecce. The somber facade is of the Roman mannerist style. In the interior, the valuable Baroque altars may be admired, dedicated to Santa Irene and San Gaetano di Tiene, founder of the order of the Teatines.

Church of Rosario

This church with a Greek cross floor plan, was the umpteenth work of Francesco Antonio Zimbalo at the end of the '1600’s. The facade is divided in two structures, both richly decorated. Two beautiful columns are next to the doors, above which rises the statue of San Domenico di Guzman. The interior presents numerous Baroque altars, each commissioned by different noble families of Lecce.

Church of San Matteo

This church has a facade of great scenic effect. It is the work of the architect Achille Larducci, who coming from outside, brought to Lecce the Baroque lesson of the Borromini.
The facade is very unusual, convex in the lower area and concave in the upper order. Although incomplete, the facade is highly decorated, with scaly surfaces adorning the lower structures. The architect was not able to complete it; he was killed in the city, perhaps because his ideas contrasted too much with the philosophy of the Leccese Baroque?

The Olivetani Convent

Outside the walls of the center is found this stupendous religious complex. The convent, today the site of the University, underwent considerable remodeling in the Renaissance era. Do not miss the cloister, with binate columns and the well embellished with a typically Baroque kiosk.

The church of Santi Niccolò and Cataldo goes back to the 12th century even if the facade later was enriched by Baroque motifs. In the interior, characterized by ogival arches and barrel-shaped vaults, may be admired fragments of frescoes of the 14th and of the 15th century.

Museo Provinciale "S. Castromediano"

The museum maintains interesting collections such as those of the archeological section, which offers an organic panorama of the Messapian civilization, from the 6th century B.C., along with numerous relics of prehistoric, Greek, Roman and medieval eras. The picture gallery is very interesting, displaying paintings from the 15th to the 18th century and a collection of glass from the 17th and 18th century. Bibliophiles should not miss the Biblioteca Provinciale library, with its notable heritage of Incunabula and numerous ancient manuscripts.


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