Peter Kun Frary | Photographer


Basilica di San Lorenzo Doors • Firenza, Italia

 

The doors to the nave of the Basilica di San Lorenzo ain't no Gates of Paradise, but the steel bars make them seem almost as important. I think that's a prayer request tied to the bar on the bottom right.

San Lorenzo is one of the largest churches in Florence and the burial place of the Medici family. It is also among the the oldest churches in Florence (1393). From the outside it appears rough and unfinished but the interior was magnificent (a small section has marble siding which was never finished). San Lorenzo houses a research library featuring ancient church manuscripts. I tried to go in the library but they wouldn't let me in. You have to prove your scholarly credentials to gain entry and apparently I don't look like a professor!

When I arrived, tourists were being shooed away as mass was beginning. I wanted to see the nave so I made the sign of the cross and shuffled into mass. Photography was not permitted, so I have only foggy memories. The acoustics were designed for unamplified vocalization and the powerful PA system resulted in an eardrum splitting cacophony. The natural acoustics would lend themselves beautifully to unamplified Medieval and Renaissance music. Like many churches in Europe, San Lorenzo was more of a graveyard than a house of worship. There were more dead members in attendance than live parishioners!

I found a few more interesting church doors and shrines as I made my way back to my hotel.

Shrines to the Virgin in business districts were a common sight. However this one was lifesize!

EOS 40D and EF-s 17-55 2.8 IS USM


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