/ / The Church of San Francesco: photos, description Basilica di San Francesco d Assisi)

The Church of San Francesco: photos, description Basilica di San Francesco d Assisi)

The Church of San Francesco in Assisi is the main Church of the Catholic order of the Franciscans and one of the six biggest basilicas of the Catholic Church. The main attraction of the Church is the cycle of frescoes from the 13th century on subjects from the life of St. Francis. The authorship of this creation is attributed to the great Giotto and his disciples. Along with nearby monastery of the Sacro Convento Basilica of San Francesco included in the UNESCO world Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO.

The two-storey Church was built in the 13th century. The top tier is traditionally called the Upper Church: it is the visible part of the structure standing on the hill. And the so-called lower Church hidden in the thick of a hill among the terraced monastery, in the eyes of the public only southern Gothic portal facing the square of San Francesco. Space, incidentally, is also two - on the Upper square of San Francesco, covered with grass, is the entrance to the Upper Church.

Both tiers are made in the form of a single-aisled Basilica with a transept, but at the bottom there are many more chapels and crypts. From there you can descend into the crypt of the Church, in which lie the remains of the St. Francis of Assisi. Near the southern facade of the building stands a bell tower with a height of 60 meters.

As for the interior decoration of the Church, the two tiers differ considerably. The lower Church, immersed in a light shade, reminiscent of traditional Roman crypts. But upstairs, on the contrary, expresses a new aesthetic value that will subsequently spread throughout Italy. Interestingly, despite the popularity of the Gothic style in architecture of the 13th century, the builders of San Francesco, apparently, deliberately abandoned his dominance. The exterior of the Church has merged the features of French Gothic and Romanesque style.

The construction of the Basilica of San Francesco and the convent of the Sacro Convento began in 1228, after the canonization of St. Francis. This was chosen an unusual place - the so-called Hell hill, which once used to execute criminals. However, when this hill was chosen by Francis of Assisi for the rest, it was called Paradise. The lower Church was completed in 1230 there immediately put the body of the founder of the order. The upper Church, above the decoration which worked best artists of his time, including Giotto and Cimabue, were built for longer - up to 1253. In 1288, the entire Basilica was granted the status of papal Church.

In our time, in 1997, during a strong earthquake in Umbria, the Church of San Francesco was severely damaged, and under the debris, killing four people. Some of the frescoes were destroyed, and to restore them it took about 2 million euros and a Titanic work. Restorers gathered the fragments of over 180 square meters of murals, but to recreate them is not possible.

Near the Church of San Francesco, the monastery of the Sacro Convento, notable for its imposing walls with 53 Romanesque arches. He dominates down the valley, giving the impression of a powerful fortress. The monastery was built from pink and white stone. Already in 1230 it appeared first monks. Since the building was built over a long period of time, it also mixed the features of different architectural styles - Romanesque and Gothic. Today it houses a large library with a collection of medieval texts and Museum, which houses works of art donated by pilgrims.