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San Cristoforo


typology: Church
Area: Piana di Lucca
District/Locality: Lucca
Foundation: X century A.D.

The church of San Cristoforo is in the central part of the town, along via Fillungo. It is a basilica with three aisles and a roof supported by trusses. The façade, with rows of perfectly squared limestone ashlars, is richly sculpted; the remaining parts are made of sandstone blocks and brick. The building is considered a perfect example of the influence of Pisan architecture in the area of Lucca. This interpretation appears confirmed by the presence inside the church of an inscription ascribing its construction to a 'maestro Diotisalvi', identified with the homonymous author of the baptistery in Pisa.
Historycal news

Near the town market situated in the so called 'classo Salaiolo', the church of San Cristoforo played an important political role in the Middle Ages as seat of the 'consoli delle Cause Lucchesi'. It was rebuilt during the XII century upon an older construction; the new structure had three aisles separated by pillars and a single apse. The bell tower in the south-east corner of the church is probably XIII century.
The church was restored during the XIV century when the upper portion of the façade was built with its large rose window.
In the XV century the aisles were covered with vaults and in the Baroque period the altars were rebuilt together with a number of stucco decorations. The first restoration in the Contemporary period dates back to the years 1843-1844, the second was carried out in 1940: the latter has changed the church considerably turning it into a memorial chapel for Lucchese soldiers who died in war. On that occasion the plaster and fittings were taken away, the vaults destroyed and the names of the fallen soldiers carved in the walls of the aisles.

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