/ / The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Carceri: photos, description Basilica di Santa Maria delle Carceri)

The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Carceri: photos, description Basilica di Santa Maria delle Carceri)

The Basilica of Santa Maria delle Carceri is a Basilica in the Tuscan town of Prato, which is considered one of the earliest and outstanding examples of use of Greek cross plan in Renaissance architecture.

According to legend, on 6 July 1484, the year a local child saw the image of the virgin Mary with child, painted on the wall of the public jail ("Carceri"). It was then decided to build a Basilica in memory of the miraculous phenomenon. Lorenzo de ' Medici, ruler of the Florentine Republic, was commissioned to develop the project of the temple to his favourite architect, Giuliano da Sangallo. Sangallo proposed to build a Basilica on the plan of a Greek cross, inspired by the chapel of the Pazzi Chapel is the work of Filippo Brunelleschi and the theoretical work of Leon Battista Alberti.

The interior of the Basilica was completed in 1486-1495 years, and the appearance remained unfinished until 1506, the year. The upper part of the West wing was completed only in the late 19th century by Sangallo.

The Basilica has four equal-sized wings, crowned with a small dome. Outside it is two-tone, like most other buildings of Prato - with white and green marble. The dome of the temple, built under the inspiration of the works of Brunelleschi, a remarkable 12 Windows and crowned by a lantern. The bell tower was built in 1777-1780, by the architect Francesco Valentini.

Inside the Basilica is decorated in the Renaissance style with false columns and valuable capitals. In the interior you can see stained glass Windows created by Domenico Ghirlandaio in the late 15th century, with a majolica frieze by Andrea della Robbia, his Tondo with the Evangelists (paintings done within a circle), white marble altar and the altarpiece depicting the Madonna and child. In the sacristy with frescoes, traces of cameras old city jail.