The Abbey of Saint Peter (Chiesa di San Pietro) is a church inhabited today by a community of monks from the Benedictine Cassinese Congregation, near the entrance in Assisi.
The Abbey 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 has been documented since 1029, through a manuscript preserved in the Archives of San Rufino.
In the first half of the thirteenth century, the history of the community of St. Peter is intertwined with that of St. Francis. The blessed Peter, abbot of Assisi, whose name is mentioned in a document from 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 in their place came the Cistercians, who completed the construction of the abbey and the church, which was consecrated in 1254 by Innocenzo 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 abbey of San Pietro was, for the first time, included within the city.
The church was restored in 1954 and again in 1997, after the earthquake from the same year.
In 2000, Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and the other Franciscan sites, among the Abbey of San Pietro, were included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The church, from the same period as the Basilica of Saint Francis, presents the typical Romanesque-Umbrian structure of the XIII century, with the characteristic signs of the Benedictine Order, being one of the last examples of monastic architecture in Assisi.
The façade in the characteristic pink stone of Monte Subasio is divided into two levels, by a frame of hanging arches. On both sides, the central portal presents two lions. The upper level 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
Then Abbey of Saint Peter is very close to the main bus station in Assisi. For precise directions, use the map below.