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The Complex of San Lorenzo
La navata centrale


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The Medici Chapels

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The most ancient Florentine cathedral, was consecrated to Saint Ambrose in 393 and dedicated to the martyr Lorenzo

The origins of San Lorenzo coincide with the origins of the Christian community in Florence. According to tradition, the fist basilica, the most ancient Florentine cathedral, was consecrated to Saint Ambrose in 393 and dedicated to the martyr Lorenzo.

There is no longer any trace of this early building; the imposing basilica we see today is the fruit of radical renovations begun in 1418 by Giovanni di Bicci, forefather of the Medici family.

Since then, San Lorenzo’s history has been indissolubly tied to that of the dynasty that for over 300 years governed Florence and Tuscany: in the Medici family’s official church were celebrated the weddings, christenings, and funerals of its members, here the Medici attended state ceremonies, here they buried all their dead, up to the last descendant, Anna Maria Luisa.

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