Basilica of Santa Croce: exterior

Originally, the exterior look of the church was rather modest, with the brown stone facade almost devoid of decoration, in line with the model widely used in 12th century Florence. But the apparent simplicity hid a much more spectacular aspect as soon as one entered: the structure recalled the ancient Roman paleochristian basilicas but the dimensions were decidedly more monumental and overwhelming and represented a real challenge to the technical abilities of the time.