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Sacrum Luce
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San Michele

typology: Church
Area: Garfagnana
District/Locality: Castiglione Garfagnana
Foundation: XII century A.D.

The church of San Michele is one of the most representative medieval religious buildings in the rural area around Lucca. For its construction material taken from distant quarries, sometimes many kilometres away from Castiglione, together with a quite elaborate technique was employed. The decoration of the façade, with alternate rows of red limestone and sandstone, is particularly interesting. Inside the church, a Madonna by Giuliano di Simone (1389) and a fourteenth century wooden crucifix can be seen.
Historycal news

The village of Castiglione is known since the early Middle Ages; however, the earliest information we have about the church of San Michele dates back to the XII century. The church was built near the Lucchese castle of Castiglione Garfagnana, following the political and demographic growth of the village. The building that can be seen today, with a Latin cross plan, one aisle and a semicircular apse, is of this period.
For the façade two-coloured stone was used and this confers it a particular decoration. The entrance portal, besides a two-coloured decoration, also has consoles and the lintel of its arch shows floral motifs and plants; the same decoration can be seen on the northern portal.
In the modern age the building was adapted to the new aesthetic and liturgical canons; as a consequence, three big square windows were opened on the sides, the apse was reconstructed in a polygonal form and new altars, together with a vestry, were added. The most important changes, however, were made in the XVIII century when an atrium, supported by two neoclassic columns with Corinthian capitals, was built against the façade.

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