The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi (Basilica Papale di San Francesco in Italian) is an Italian cathedral located in the city of Assisi. This cathedral is the head, or mother church, of the Franciscan Order (the Roman Catholic Order of the Friars Minor). The foundation stone of the Basilica was laid after the canonization of Saint Francis on July 16, 1228, by Pope Gregory IX. The Lower Church was completed in 1230, after which Saint Francis was buried in the cathedral.
The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is a popular pilgrimage destination. This is since Saint Francis was known for his lifestyle of non-materialism and his treatment of all creatures as equal, including animals and the poor. The current Pope of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, chose his name in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.
The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi consists of the Upper Church and the Lower Church, as well as a third level below, the Saint’s tomb, where the remains of Saint Francis are kept. The Upper Church’s interior is decorated in the Gothic style. Interior features include many frescoes from medieval painters such as Giotto di Bondone, Pietro Cavallini, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Cimabue, displaying a variety of Italian art from this period. Other decorative features include the Gothic doorway and ornate rose window, which has been called “the eye of the most beautiful church in the world.”
Following the destruction caused by two earthquakes that hit Italy on September 26, 1997, the Bascilica was closed for restoration for two years.
Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi Map
Facts about Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi
- The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000.
- The Basilica was consecrated in 1253, after the completion of the Upper Basilica.
- The church became a Papal Church in 1288.
- The church was designed by Brother Elias Bombadone of Cortona.
- The hill on which the church was constructed was once known as the “Hill of Hell,” but is now known as the “Hill of Paradise.”
Where is Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi?
The Basilica is located in Assisi, Italy, where Saint Francis was born and died. The city of Assisi is situated in central Italy in the region of Umbria, connected to major Italian cities including Rome via railway. The town itself is accessible on foot. The Basilica is located at a distance of just 13 km from Perugia San Francesco d’Assisi – Umbria International Airport.
Best time to visit Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi
Spring and summer are the high season for travel in Italy. Tourists should avoid Italy in August, when most of the locals head out of town for a vacation, and many parts of town are closed.
Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi Hours
The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi opens from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm on all days.The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi opens from 6:00 am to 7:00 pm on all days.
More on Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi
Nearby Attractions: Museo Missionario Indios, Holy Street – Roman Forums, Cittadella Ospitalità, and Oratorio dei Pellegrini.