Cathedral of St. Martin
AD MEMORIA HABENDA(M) ET IUSTITIA(M) RETINENDA CURTIS
ECLESIE BEATI MARTINI SCRIBIMUS IURAMENTUM QUOD CAMBIATORES
ET SPECIARII OM(NE)S ISTIUS CURTIS TEMPORE RANGERII EPI(SCOPI) FECERUNT
UT OM(NES) HOMINES CU(M) FIDUCIA POSSINT CA(M)BIARE VENDERE ET EMERE
IURAVERUNT OM(NE)S CAMBIATORES ET SPECIARII QUOD AB ILLA HORA
IN ANTEA NEC FURTUM FACIENT NEC TRECCAMENTU(M) NEC FALSI
TATE(M) INFRA CURTE(M) SANCTI MARTINI NEC IN DOMIBUS ILLIS IN QUIBUS
HOMINES HOSPITANTUR HOC IURAM(EN)TUM FACIUNT QUI IBI AD
CANBIUM AUT AD SPECIES STARE VOLUERINT
SUNT ETIA(M) INSUPER QUI SEMPER CURTEM ISTA(M) CUSTODIUNT ET QUOD
MALEFACTU(M) FUERIT EMENDARE FACIUNT AN(NO) D(OMI)NI MCXI
In the year 1111 the money-changers of Lucca swore not to cheat pilgrims coming down along the Via Francigena on the porch of the cathedral of San Martino and hospices for them. They put this plaque in memory of their oath they would have not done theft, deception and forgery on the porch of San Martino or in houses where it gives hospitality.
A few steps away, on one of the columns it is engraved a maze that bears the inscription:
HIC QUEM CRETICUS EDIT DEDALUS EST LABERINTHUS DEQ(U)O NULLUS VADERE QUIVIT QUI FUIT INTUS NI THESEUS GRATIS ADRIANE STAMINE IUTUS
(This is the Cretan labyrinth built by Daedalus of which no one has been able to find the exit except Theseus, thanks to Ariadne's thread)
In on one of the portals, two figures face each other brandishing two cartouches. One says:
EGO REGULUS ASSERO SE(M)PER FUISSE D(EU)M PATREM ET FILIUM ET SP(IRIT)U S(ANCTUM)
and the other responds:
NOS ARIANI DICIMUS FILIUM DEI INITIUM IN DIVINITATE ABUISSE
Changers of dubious honesty, heresies and theological disputes, mazes symbolic ... and this is just the beginning. The Cathedral of San Martino di Lucca is a veritable treasure trove of suggestions on the medieval world. The stunning architecture holds together an impressive amount of stories, revealing the almost visceral need of medieval man of this raw material. And if the "real" stories are not enough, they resort to the help of the bestiary.
The 2-tail mermaidss are a confirmation of this incredible mine. There are two-tailed mermaids on the fašade columns, one on the column at the entrance, in a marquetry flooring inside the cathedral and two, more recent, on the organ.
According to tradition the first church of St. Martin was built at the behest of San Frediano, bishop of Lucca who died in 588. It was rebuilt roughly its present form in 1060 by Pope Alexander II (1061-1073) that the solemnly consecrated in 1070 in the presence of Matilde of Canossa.
Inside, among other things, there is the tomb of Ilaria Del Carretto made by Jacopo della Quercia and a 'ultima cena' by Tintoretto.