"Too bad we didn't get to see it all..." Duomo di San Martino - Cathedral Tip by Jefie
Duomo di San Martino - Cathedral, Lucca: 26 reviews and 51 photos
Unfortunately, there were some major restoration works going on in the Cathedral of San Martino when we visited, so we only got to see a small portion of Lucca's most important church. Luckily, that portion did include the duomo's most prized treasure, the "Temple of the Holy Face", or Volto Santo di Lucca. Legend has it that this wooden crucifix was sculpted by Nicodemus, one of the men who helped place the body of Jesus in a tomb. Nicodemus, fearing for his life if he were caught with the crucifix but not wanting to destroy it either, placed it on board a ship without a crew, praying that the wind would bring it to a safe location. The bishop of Lucca, having had a revelation in a dream, managed to locate the ship and brought the crucifix to Lucca. But perhaps what's even more impressive than the crucifix's story is the beautiful temple that was built for it by Matteo Civitali, often described as the city's best and most famous Renaissance sculptor.
Since many areas were off-limits, we were happy just to see Civitali's temple. However, under normal circumstances, it's possible to buy a combined ticket for 6 Euros that gives you access to the cathedral's sacristy (where Ilaria del Carretto's famous funerary monument can be seen), the Cathedral's museum (where you'll find different objects and works of art that used to be in the duomo), and the Church of San Giovani (where you can see the archeological remains of Lucca's first basilica).
Address: Piazza Antelminelli
Directions: Centro storico
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