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Church of Sant'Alessandro


One of the oldest examples of ancient Romanesque architecture in Lucca, the church of Sant'Alessandro Maggiore (Saint Alexander) in Lucca is first attested in the year 893 and is located in the central area of the city, within a block enclosed in the ancient Roman streets grid, a short distance from Piazza San Michele and Palazzo Ducale.



ADDRESS: Piazza Sant'Alessandro, 3 - Lucca


TEL: +39 0583 53576



The building has a sober and elegant appearance that recalls the Romanesque of its origins and uses simple geometries and balanced compositions, precious materials such as the white limestones coming form the Monte Pisano. The facade is rigorous in its proportions, in the refined face of alternate high and low white limestone rows and in the decorations of classical influence on the front and side portals.

The layout is basilical with three naves of clear and essential lines. The exterior and interior of the building are characterized by a consistent simplicity that make it a pure and noble model of Romanesque architecture in Lucca.

The origin of the name dates back to 1071 when Alexander II, pope and bishop of Lucca, had the body of St. Alexander I transferred there from Rome. The transfer of the body testifies to the very close ties the pontiff had maintained with the city and the consideration he had for the ancient predecessor from whom he had taken his name. In the 16th century the building was covered with cross vaults, the crypt buried and the body of St. Alexander moved to the high altar.

In the 13th century the church played an important role in civil society, hosting the Curia dei Foretani, at that time the court of the City of Lucca, in charge of judging disputes between citizens and inhabitants of the territory of the six miles outside the city. A major restoration of the church dates back to 1840, commissioned by Duke Carlo Lodovico and directed by Lorenzo Nottolini, while Michele Ridolfi painted the apse with encaustic technique.