Tourist Attraction in Pavia: Basilica di San Michele Maggiore
The Basilica of San Michele Maggiore, a Romanesque masterpiece, is one of the most important churches of Pavia, dating back to the XI and XII centuries. A first church dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel was originally built on the site of the Royal Palace chapel in the Lombard period thanks also to the monks of San Colombano di Bobbio (this period dates back to the lower part of the bell tower) but was destroyed by a fire in 1004 The current construction started at the end of the 11th century (which dates back to the crypt, the chorus and the transepts) and was completed in 1155 (with a break from the great earthquake of 3 January 1117). The vaults of the central nave, originally equipped with two coarse square cruisers (or, according to some historians, with dome domed on Romanesque-Byzantine basilicas such as San Marco in Venice) were reconstructed between 1488 and 1491 by Iacopo from Candia and his son Agostino, with a pattern of four rectangular spans, to guarantee a better static efficiency of the architectural complex. The Basilica of San Michele is considered to be the prototype of the many medieval churches that can boast of Pavia, the most famous of which are St. Peter in gold coel and San Teodoro. However, San Michele differs from other town churches for its extensive use, both in terms of structure and decorations, of fragile ocher brownstone in place of the terracotta, and also for the particular architectural conformation, which provides a plant Latin cross, with an exceptionally developed transept, very protruding from the longitudinal body of the building, unlike what happens, for example, in St. Peter in Gold, where the transept does not protrude from the rectangular factory body of the church. This transept, with its own facade on the north side, of its own false apse on the opposite side and barrel barrel, which is substantially different from the crucible vaults of the remaining parts of the church, is almost an autonomous body, a second church transposed to that Main: an unprecedented solution for those times. Already the dimensions of the basilica (length: 55 meters; width to the transept: 38 meters) highlight the importance of this part of the structure. At the junction between nave and transept, the dazzling octagonal dome (very asymmetrical) rises on Lombardy plumes. The basilica hosted centuries-long ceremonies and coronations; Among them is the coronation of Federico I Barbarossa, in 1155. The Latin cross plan has a three-nave subdivision, each with a door on the facade. The central nave is wide double the sides. The transept has its own facade with access door, located on the north side. This facade is basically different from the main one, since it is less rich in detail, but has its own large independent square in function of the churchyard. On the facade there are five small mullet, three monofore and one cross between two oculi. This arrangement is a nineteenth-century reconstruction: until that time, there was a large circular window, certainly not original, eliminated precisely to bring the facade back to its original configuration.