San Francesco and Pietro Cathedral

Matteoni writes about Massa Cathedral:
"Like the majority of ancient churches Massa cathedral was built in more stages.
The part of the nave which lengthens from the gallery to the high altar or the part actually forming the "crociata" were the first units to be erected . Then it was probably enlarged with two chapels creating, whichever way one would open, a Greek cruciform plan. Later the church was extended to the stigmata taking the shape of a Latin Cross. The chapel of the Prince, whose name is now chapel of the Holy Sacrament, was then added and finally Bishop Strani changed it into the actual size."
Through a tombstone in the Stigmata's Chapel, next to the altar of the Madonna from Loreto, we learn that a little temple, built by Arrigo Rito of Antonio from Como, was inaugurated and consecrated in 1389 on the spot where the Cathedral stands. This little church was dedicated to San Francesco and was restored and enlarged at the beginning of the 16th century. The two chapels which brought to the Greek cruciform plan, date back probably to the same period.
The Stigmata's chapel was built later and finally since 1616 the building has had the present-day size.
In 1807 after the destruction of San Pietro church, which laid close to the Palace of the Doges in Bagnara, the Cathedral was dedicated to the apostle S. Pietro and to San Francesco from Assisi.
The unique remains of San Pietro Church are the 15th century wooden crucifix by the school of Lucca, a marble high-relief with the image of our Virgin of the Rosary, a 15th century triptych ascribed to Lippi and the baptismal font , ascribed to Iacopo della Quercia's disciple Riccomanni from Pietrasanta. The Church was raised to a Cathedral in 1822, when the diocese of Massa was created.
The marble façade was inaugurated in 1936 and the Cathedral was finally raised to Basilica Minor in 1964.

 

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