Basilica di San Clemente in Santa Maria dei Servi

Basilica dei Servi

The Basilica dei Servi, beloved by the Sienese, was for centuries the city’s second Marian shrine. This was undoubtedly until 1611, when the new Collegiate Church of S. Maria in Provenzano was built. The building is externally devoid of any decoration, responding to the new mendicant orders’ need for simplicity of message and form.

The Basilica dei Servi, with its Egyptian plan, contains inside works of great value, both artistic and spiritual, mostly dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The most significant are the Madonna del Bordone by Coppo di Marcovaldo, The Coronation of the Virgin by Bernardino Fungai and the Madonna of Mercy by Giovanni di Paolo. Within the walls of the aisles are carved niches with barrel vaults and painted coffers within which Baroque altars are placed. An exception is the first chapel on the right, which is carved out within the bell tower and thus deeper and structurally different from the others.

The Order of the Servants of Mary, also simply called Servites, was founded by seven Florentine saints. After leaving their possessions and their families, they retired to Monte Senario. Here, far from Florence, they devoted themselves completely to prayer and penance. Their example was contagious, so much so that the Servants of Mary’s model of life began to spread, reaching even Siena in 1250.



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