|This article is about the cathedral. You may be looking for the district of a similar name.|
The church, the adjoining cloister, and chapter house contained a store of art treasures and funerary monuments; especially famous within the building are frescoes by masters of Gothic and early Renaissance artwork. They were financed through the generosity of the most important Florentine families, who ensured themselves of funerary chapels on consecrated ground.
Prior to its construction of the basilica, the site was originally an ancient oratory dating back prior to the Crusades, housing a hidden tomb underneath. In 1420, Santa Maria Novella was consecrated as the first great basilica in Florence despite being unfinished. With works on the upper façadeby Leon Battista Alberti, the church was completed in 1470.
During their reign, the Medici family often visited Santa Maria Novella for Mass. In 1478, the basilica played host to a meeting of the Pazzi family and other Templars, who were conspiring to commit the assassination of Lorenzo de' Medici and his brother, Giuliano.