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Sacrum Luce
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Saints Simone and Giuda


icona Saints Simone and Giuda
Santi Simone e Giuda
Area: Piana di Lucca
District/Locality: Lucca

This old church, presently closed to worship, was rebuilt in the 13th century. Its interior has a wealth of furnishings, including a polyptych of Spinello Aretino, now divided among various museums and collections and a wooden statue by Jacopo della Quercia, now in the Diocese Museum.
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Documented in 839, and again in the 11th and 12th century, this church, traditionally called "in Lischia", located by the eastern stretch of the roman walls, was totally renovated in the early 13th century with a plan of a central nave and two side aisles on pilasters with capitals and an apse, built using square ashlar masonry, alternated with strips of white limestone. The southern door of the façade is the work of Michele Bocaforte, dated to 1258 (as stated by the epigraph in situ). In the 17th century the interior was covered by vaults, and the church underwent further restoration in 1875.

The interior furnishings were conspicuously enriched in the 14th century. Spinello Aretino painted a polyptych for the altar of saints Jacopo and Filippo that is today divided and conserved in both in Parma and Mexico City. A wooden statue of Saint Ansano, now housed at the archiepiscopal Holy See of Lucca, datable to the second decade of the 15th century and attributed to Jacopo della Quercia, originally belonged to this church.

The high altar features fresco of the Madonna of the Fratta, originally from the 12th century town walls near the postern of the Fratta, where the Madonna of the Stellario is found today. When the walls were destroyed the image was conserved on a corner of the street, where an oratory was then built but later destroyed in the Napoleonic period. After a brief stay in S. Pier Somaldi, the image was transferred to this church by the wishes of the long-established confraternity of S. Luigi Gonzaga. From 1923 this brotherhood united with the Society of S. Ansano, which had also transferred to this church from S. Sisto.

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