/ / The Church of San Francesco (the Malatesta Temple): photo description (Tempio Malatestiano)

The Church of San Francesco (the Malatesta Temple): photo description (Tempio Malatestiano)

The Malatesta temple, whose official name sounds like the St. Francis Church is the Cathedral of Rimini. As its popular name it was named after Sigismund Pandolfo Malatesta, who in the mid-15th century initiated the restoration of the Church. Over the project of restoration of the Church was the famous Renaissance architect Leon Battista Alberti.

The Gothic Church of San Francesco was built in the 13th century and originally belonged to the Franciscans. It had the shape of a rectangle without side chapels, with a single nave and three apses. Probably, the Central apse was painted with frescoes of the great Giotto, to whom is also attributed the crucifix, now kept in the second chapel to the right.

Malatesta commissioned the architect Alberti to rebuild the Church and turn it a sort of mausoleum for himself and his wife Isotta degli Atti. The work on reconstruction of the building was made by the architect from Verona, Matteo di Andrea de Pasti. Alberti designed the construction of the dome similar to the dome of the famous Roman Pantheon, which was to become one of the largest in Italy. However, for unknown reasons, Matteo did not build this dome. Also no work was completed on the upper part of the façade, which project Alberti had to have the front wall with gable. In 1460, the year after the excommunication, the tide has turned against the powerful Malatesta, and his tomb remained unfinished. In about two arcades on the side of the main entrance to the Church was placed the sarcophagus of Sigismund and Isotta, but they remained empty.

Today the Church of St. Francesca immediately attracts attention with its luxurious marble facade decorated with sculptures by Agostino di Duccio (presumably) and Matteo de Pasti. Large archways on the sides look like Roman aqueducts. About each of the arched openings are sarcophagi, reminiscent of the Gothic tradition of interment. The main portal has a triangular pediment and geometric decorations complete the tympanum.

Inside, to the right of the entrance, you can see the seven chapels with the tombs of prominent residents of Rimini, including philosopher Gemistus Pletho. Right at the entrance is the tomb of sigismondo Pandolfo Malatesta. Next to the chapel bears the name of St. Sigismund, the patron Saint of the military (himself Malatesta was a famous condottiere). Here you can see the fresco by Piero della Francesca depicting the Malatesta kneeling before the Saint. In the next chapel is the Capella degli Angeli - located grave Isotta and a crucifix by Giotto, probably painted during his stay in Rimini, 1308-1312-m years. The chapel Cappella dei Pianeti dedicated to Saint Jerome and is decorated with signs of the zodiac work of Agostino di Duccio. It is an interesting painting - a panorama of Rimini, 15th-century. And in the Cappella della pietà buried the bodies of some Malatesta's ancestors.

As the Church of San Francesco is literally full of various references to the history of the Malatesta and his family, many of his contemporaries considered her something of a cult temple. Pope Pius II, the worst enemy of Sigismund Pandolfo, called her "full of pagan gods and bogokhulsky things."