Chiesa di Sant'Agostino
The church of Sant'Agostino, with the adjoining convent, is a sacred building located in the main square of Pietrasanta.
The church of Sant'Agostino, with the adjoining convent, is a sacred building located in the main square of Pietrasanta. The church, attributed to Antonio Pardini, was built in the 14th century for the Augustinian friars. The 16th century convent and the Merchants' Hospital were attached to it. The beautiful facade takes up the architectural motifs and the plastic decoration of the Cathedral of San Martino in Lucca. Elevated above a short marble staircase, it has three large blind arches, surmounted by an order of slender columns and small Gothic trefoil arches. In the lunette of the portal is the Annunciation, bronze by Igor Mitoraj(2013). The interior has a single nave, with a trussed ceiling. The floor is arranged on various levels, adapting to the slope of the ground. The original altars, built between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, were replaced by the current seventeenth-century marble ones, with the exception of the first altar on the right, from 1512: on it was placed a Nativity (1519) by Zacchia the Elder. The canvas, stolen in 1921, was dismembered by thieves and only partially found. What remains of the painting today is the crowning lunette with the Pietà. From the first construction phase, numerous floor tombstones and pieces of fresco cycles from the 14th-15th century remain inside. The eighteenth-century mural decoration has been recovered on the wall of the main altar, on the counter-façade and on the right wall. In the apse there is a valuable wooden choir. The bell tower, dating back to 1780, hosts a concert of three bells (plus one small bell) cast in 1904 by Raffaello Magni and his sons from Lucca, who no longer make their voices heard since the entire complex was deconsecrated.
The conventThe convent was built in the 16th century. Its cloister is surrounded by a peristyle of marble columns. In ancient times the cloister's ambulatory was completely decorated with frescoes by the Sienese Astolfo Petrazzi in the lunettes with episodes from the life of Saint Augustine. Today only the frescoes of eight lunettes remain of the seventeenth-century decoration. Following the Napoleonic suppressions of the monastic orders, both the church and the convent became property of the municipality. After the Restoration the convent hosted the Piarists' school. The church, after the removal of the Augustinians, continued to be officiated for some time. Today the complex is deconsecrated. Recent restorations of the church and convent have saved the degraded structures which are now used for temporary exhibitions, especially in the summer months. The cloister is home to the L.Russo cultural centre, the G.Carducci municipal library and the sketches museum.
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