The foundation of Lucca's cathedral of San Martino is attributed, according to tradition, to San Frediano, bishop of Lucca who died in 588. Bishop Giovanni I had the body of San Regolo brought here from Populonia in 780; a crypt was then built together with a rich presbytery decorated with marble and ironwork gates. The façade had an open gallery by 833, but this was destroyed in 905 and rebuilt in 928. Between 1060 and 1070 the church was completely rebuilt on request of Anselmo da Baggio who became Pope Alessandro IInd
(1061-1073) and solemnly consecrated the church in presence of 23 bishops and countess Matilde di Canossa. In 1308 bishop Enrico IInd
granted the 'Opera' 14 ells of ground at the eastern end permitting the reconstruction of the gallery and the apse
as they appear today. In the course of the XIVth
century a general renovation of the church was decided and vaults were added: after 1374 Florentine architects carried on the works that were eventually completed in 1476. The interior was provided with new fittings thanks to the work of Matteo and Vincenzo Civitali, Giambologna and Muzio Oddi. Inside the cathedral you can admire the famous tomb of Ilaria del Carretto with its precious monument sculpted in 1408 by Jacopo della Quercia.