The Church of San Pietro is a church in Assisi, located in Piazza San Pietro, on the edge of the historical center of the town. The adjacent abbey houses a community of monks from the Benedictine Cassinese Congregation.
The Church of Saint Peter was built at the end of the 10th century, outside the city walls of Assisi, near an ancient Roman necropolis. The presence of the monastery was documented since 1029, through a manuscript preserved in the archives of the Cathedral of San Rufino.
In the first half of the 13th century, the history of the community of Saint Peter was intertwined with that of Saint Francis. The blessed Peter, abbot of Assisi, whose name is mentioned in a document of 1209, gave to Saint Francis the silver chalice which is still preserved in the Chapel of the Relics of the Sacred Convent.
Around 1252, after they lived in the monastery for over two centuries, the Benedictines abandoned the place, and were replaced by the Cistercians, who completed the construction of the abbey and the church, which was consecrated in 1254 by Pope Innocent IV. On the same occasion, the pontiff consecrated the Cathedral of San Rufino and the Basilica of San Francesco.
In 1316, following the expansion of the walls, the Church of San Pietro was, for the first time, included within the city limits.
The church was restored in 1954 and again in 1997, after the earthquake of the same year.
In 2000, Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and other Franciscan sites, together with the Church of San Pietro, were included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The church, dating back to the same period as the Basilica of Saint Francis, presents the typical Romanesque-Umbrian structure of the 13th century, with the characteristic signs of the Benedictine Order, being one of the last examples of monastic architecture in Assisi.
The facade in the characteristic pink stone of Monte Subasio is divided in two orders by a frame of hanging arches. The central portal is preceded by two sculpted lions. The upper order is decorated by three large rose windows.
The interior is divided into three naves: the central one is high and, without its own windows, is illuminated only by the central rose window.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of Saint Peter is located about 2.5 kilometers away from the Assisi railway station. The closest bus stop is in Piazza Giovanni Paolo II, about 100 meters away, on the bus Lines B and C.
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