• About

    The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi is a church in Gothic style in Assisi, located in the western part of the historical center of the town.

    The Basilica of Saint Francis is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Franciscan Order, an important place of pilgrimage, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2000. Here, Saint Francis, one of the most venerated religious figures of the Catholic Church, is buried.



    The Basilica of Saint Francis is composed, actually, of two churches. The Lower Church was built between 1228 and 1230, only 4 years after the saint’s death, at the behest of Pope Gregory IX, while the Upper Church was built between 1230 and 1253. Both churches were consecrated on May 25, 1253, by Pope Innocent IV.

    The Sacro Convento friary, with its imposing walls supported by 53 arches and powerful buttresses, was erected between the 12th and the 15th century with stone from the near Mount Subasio. An important part of the friary was built under the pontificate of Pope Sixtus IV, a Franciscan, near the end of the 15th century.

    A crypt was dug in 1818, for the tomb of Saint Francis. Now, the remains of the saint are kept in a stone urn in the Lower Church.



    You can enter the Lower Church through a wonderful portico with two arches and three rose windows.

    Inside, you can find invaluable paintings by Giotto (the Chapel of Mary Magdalene, eight childhood Stories of Christ), Cimabue (the fresco in the right transept), Simone Martini (Stories of Saint Martin) and Pietro Lorenzetti (Histories of the Passion of Christ and the famous Madonna dei Tramonti). Here, you can also find beautiful glass windows by Giovanni di Bonino and Puccio Capanna.

    The Upper Church has a simple facade, embellished by a Gothic portal and a beautiful rose window. The interior is built in Gothic style, lit by large windows. Inside, there are frescos by Giotto illustrating the life of the Saint Francis, and also works by Cimabue, Cavallini, Torriti.

    The basilica complex includes a bell-tower built in 1239. The monastery also houses a remarkable Treasury with rare manuscripts, paintings, tapestries and sacred furnishings.



    The Basilica of Saint Francis is located about 2.8 kilometers away from the Assisi railway station. From the railway station, you can take the bus Line C to Piazza Giovanni Paolo II, located on the edge of the historical center of the town, about 350 meters away from the church.

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