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The Convent of the Clarisse and the Church of the Bigi



The convent was built at the end of the XVI century to replace the ancient convent of Santa Chiara, which had been destroyed  during the construction of the Garibaldi Bastion and the Medicean Walls.
The ground floor of the convent  was completed in 1585, but the rest was left unfinished for a long time.
The second floor, the walls, the cloister and the church were built in the XVII century, but the shape of the church as we see it today wasn’t completed until 1692. The convent was desecrated in 1785 and its buildings  became part of the Misericordia Hospital.
The Church, instead, was given to the Company of San Gherardo, also called the Bigi.  The entirely renovated convent now hosts the exhibitions and cultural centre “Le Clarisse”, inaugurated in March 2016.
The  interior of  the church features a rich stucco ornamentation dating back to the end of the XVII century. On the basis of the signatures founded on the ornamentation, it has been ascribed to artists from Lugano, who were working in the area of Siena  and Maremma at that time.

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