Donations and grants for the Basilica
To preserve the monument it is still necessary to do pressing restoration works, for which sponsorships and donations are required.
Cassa di risparmio di Pistoia e Pescia
c/c n° 000002308C00 headed to Parrocchia della Madonna dell'umiltą
ABI 06260 CAB 13800 CIN S
Postal current account n° 60265816 headed to Parrocchia della Madonna dell'umiltą, ABI 07601 CAB 13800 CIN R
BASILICA OF MADONNA OF HUMILITY - Historical Information
XV century: The building of the Sanctuary mariano, the church of Santa Maria dell'Umiltą, was deeply desired to offer a more honourable seat to the fresco of Our Lady with child (humbling sitting down and not on the throne), placed in the ancient extra-urban church of St. Maria Forisportam (the new building rose from its foundations). In fact, in 1490 that image was the protagonist of a prodigious event: the sweating Miracle
"L'anno del signore 1490 alli 17 di luglio in giorno sabbato, fu veduta questa immagine spargere sudore, o vero liquore della sua Santa Testa alla similitudine d'acqua viva d'un limpido fonte, e dall'una, e l'altra parte della fronte, che miracolosamente irrigavano le sue vestimenta. Per questa novitą era frequentata la detta chiesa con molta devozione da alcuni: i quali veduto il Miracolo cominciarono a suonare le campane".
("In our Lord's year 1490, on 17th of July, on saturday, someone saw this image sweating, or spreading real liqueur of her holy head as water from a limpid source, from both sides of her forehead, irrigating miraculously her garment. For this reason, this church was attended by somebody with great devotion. People who saw the Miracle, started ringing the bells").
XVI century: The work began in 1545 by Giuliano da Sangallo's project.
The works, under the direction of Ventura Vitoni from Pistoia, were often interrupted either because of the lack of funds and of other events related to the historical policy of the town.
In 1500 the interruption of the works was due to the fight between two families of Pistoia: Panciatichi against Cancellieri.
In 1513: the building of the new sacristy
Between 1517-1522: building and decoration of the apse.
In 1513: shrine for the high altar.
In 1515: Pope Leone X consecrated the sanctuary to Madonna dell'Umiltą.
In 1579: the fresco showing the holy image was transferred over the high altar.
"I remember that from the 16th of november we all were in charge of the removal of this holy image using fillets of wood and iron bolt according to the instructions by the engineers of His Majesty, who arrived on the 25th; then on 28th of november the work was nearly finished".
As these lines testimony, the removal of the fresco ought to be risky.
Many artists worked to construct the Sanctuary, from Giuliano Sangallo, to his brother Antonio, to Francesco di Giovanni of Florence to Antonio Pollaiolo.
The building was characterised by a long and difficult work.
From 1540 on, there were a large number of new requests to Cosimo I, to find the funds to start the works again, in particular for the building of a covering.
(besides the project of the dome, a capriate covering had to be constructed according to Nanni Unghero design).
Once finished the large Vestibule only the Tribune was still to be finished and it was necessary to set out the dome.
View of Piazza dello Spirito Santo from the Couple
In 1561 the funds were received and Giorgio Vasari could do a first inspection in Pistoia, plan the building of the covering taking inspiration from the most famous florentin dome by Brunelleschi.
But already from the beginning of the works, because of the dimension of the dome itself the first yielding of the base began, so that they proceeded to the innest of tie-beams. This operation aroused first criticisms to the project in particular from the part of Jacopo Lafri.
In 1568 the Lanterna work was undertaken by stone-cutter Andrea di Matteo.
In 1571 other signs of yielding of the structure followed.
In 1576 Bartolomeo Ammannati worked in order to execute further strengthening operations which carried on till 1584; Jacopo Lafri was also involved in it.
The church was inaugurated on the 31st December 1582.
XVIII century: the dome of the Vestibule was definitively strengthened.
XX century: in 1931 the church was consecrated a Basilic.
The Vestibule, a masterpiece of the Renaissance, built by Ventura Vitoni, preserved burial-grounds of benefactor families from Pistoia under its floor.
The octagonal room finished in 1578 shows three ornamental architectonic themes.
Inside: 2 chapels dedicated to Rospigliosi family, Panciatichi chapel, Chiarenti chapel, Alluminati chapel, Vivarelli-Colonna chapel.
The balustrade of the presbytery is a project of architect Jacopo Lafri from Pistoia (1597).
The high altar, where the fresco is located, is a work of art executed by sculptor Pietro Tacca from Florence (1612).
This dome of the Basilic is the third most important in Italy.