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. SHORT HISTORY 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 Read more [...]
Italy has many churches, and all of them are beautiful and full of spectacular works of art. The main church of the city is referred as Il Duomo, but you will find churches that are named Basilica, Chiesa or Cattedrale, depending on their size and importance.
Some of the most beautiful churches in Italy are the Basilica di San Marco and the Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari in Venice, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence, the Basilica of Saint John Lateran in Rome, the Cathedral of the Nativity of Saint Mary and the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta in Orvieto and the Basilica of San Zeno Maggiore in Verona.
The Basilica of Santa Chiara is a church in Gothic style in Assisi, located in the homonymous square, in the southern part of the historical center of the town. The church is dedicated to Saint Clare of Assisi, founder of the Order of Poor Clares, known today as the Order of Saint Clare. SHORT HISTORY The church was built after the death of Saint Clare, between 1257 and 1265, around the ancient Church of San Giorgio, which kept the remains of Saint Francis until 1230. The construction works were carried out by the architect Filippo da Campello. The remains of Saint Clare were transferred in 1260 to the new basilica, while the solemn consecration of the church took place in 1265, in the presence of Pope Clement IV. The crypt that now houses the tomb of the saint was built only in 1850. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The architectural style of the church is Gothic, and closely resembles the almost contemporary Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi. The exterior of the church is characterized by three large polygonal buttresses, which reinforce the left side of the structure. The facade is made of rows of white and pink stone. The Read more [...]
The Cathedral of San Rufino is the beautiful Cathedral of Assisi, located in the homonymous square. Although there is no documented evidence, the church is built on a terrace that probably was the site of the ancient Roman forum of Asisium. SHORT HISTORY The body of San Rufino (Saint Rufinus) was probably brought to Assisi in the 8th century, and a first church was built on this place around the same time. Ugone, Bishop of Assisi from 1028, moved the episcopal seat from the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore to the Church of San Rufino, and made the latter a cathedral in 1036. In 1134, it was decided to demolish the Ugonian Basilica and to build a new and more imposing cathedral. The work for the new church, on a project by Giovanni da Gubbio, was started in 1140, but the construction lasted for several decades. In 1228, Pope Gregory IX consecrated the high altar and, in 1253, the whole church was consecrated by Pope Innocent IV. In 1571, the interior of the cathedral was renovated according to a project by Galeazzo Alessi. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the cathedral is one of the most significant works of the Read more [...]
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. SHORT HISTORY 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 Read more [...]
The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli is a papal basilica in Assisi, located outside the city walls, about 3 kilometers away from the historical center. The basilica shelters the Porziuncola, a small chapel where the Franciscan movement started, the most sacred place for the Franciscan order. SHORT HISTORY Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels was built between 1565 and 1685 on a project by Galeazzo Alessi, an italian architect from Perugia. The construction took a long time due to the constant lack of money, because the church was financed only from donations. The earthquake of March 15, 1832, damaged the church beyond repair. The reconstruction of the basilica started in 1836 and was completed 4 years later, in 1840. The architect in charge for the reconstruction was Luigi Poletti. During the reconstruction, the facade of the church was remodeled in a Neoclassical style. Between 1924 and 1930, the architect Cesare Bazzani returned the facade to its original appearance. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The basilica is built in a Mannerist style and has a Latin cross plan, 126 meters long and 65 meters wide. The interior has three naves and a large dome, 79 meters high, and is Read more [...]
In the central square of Assisi, there is an ancient Roman temple from the first century of our era, the Temple of Minerva, which was dedicated to the goddess of wisdom and peace from the pagan age. Today, the temple houses the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. SHORT HISTORY Around the years 28-25 BC, during the time of emperor Augustus, the Roman Forum of Assisi was structured, various temples were built and the city wall was completed. About the same time, the Temple of Minerva was erected. When the pagan cult ceased, the Temple of Minerva remained abandoned and silent for over a century, until the second half of the 5th century, when the Benedictine monks restored the building and began to use it as a church. With the document of May 24, 1212, the Benedictines granted for rent, for a hundred years, all the rooms of the temple to the city of Assisi. In 1539, Pope Paul III, visiting Assisi, ordered that the Temple of Minerva to be restored and dedicated to Saint Mary. The structure was named Santa Maria sopra Minerva. In 1613, the Bishop of Assisi, Marcello Crescenzi, with the consent of the city council, Read more [...]