/ / The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli: photo, description Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli)

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli: photo, description Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli)

The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli Church of the 16 century situated on the plain at the foot of the hill on which stands the city of Assisi.

The construction of the Basilica in the style of mannerism lasted from 1569 to 1679 years. The building of the new temple included the small Church of Porziuncola, which is considered one of the most revered places of the Franciscan order. According to legend, St. Francis of Assisi recognized his purpose and retired from the mundane, to live in poverty among the poor. After the death of Francis in 1226 the monks of his order built around Portiuncula a few small huts. In 1230 there was a small refectory and several other buildings, and over time was added little cloisters and living quarters for the monks. Part of these structures was discovered in the excavations carried out from 1967 to 1969 under the Foundation of the modern Basilica.

Since the number of pilgrims who came to Assisi to venerate the relics of St. Francis has grown steadily, tiny Porziuncola could no longer accommodate all comers. So there were the first projects for the construction of the great temple which is to his Holy Church. In the middle of the 16th century were demolished all built to that moment around Portiuncula of the building, excluding the chapel Transito in which Francis died. And in 1569 began the construction of the Basilica.

Project majestic Church, the seventh largest Christian Church in the world - was designed by two famous architects Galeazzo Alessi and Vignoli. Construction went slowly because there was a constant lack of funds gathered from private donations. Only in 1667 was completed, deserves special attention the dome, which rests on an octagonal drum with eight Windows and cornices, and the whole Basilica was finally completed only in 1679. Five years later, the bell-tower - the project was supposed to be two, but the second was never built.

In 1832, a strong earthquake in the Central aisle, the side chapels and choirs of the Basilica collapsed. The dome survived, but suffered serious damage in the form of wide cracks. Fortunately, the apse and side chapels have survived intact. Reconstruction of the Basilica started in 1836 by the architect Luigi Poletti and was completed four years later. He redid the façade in neoclassical style, but in 1924-1930 years it returned to its former Baroque appearance. Then, in 1930-m to year, on top of the facade has installed a gilded statue of the Madonna degli Angeli.

Inside the Basilica consists of a Central nave and two side aisles, framed on the sides with ten chapels. The Church of Porziuncola located directly under the dome. The interior of the Basilica is simple and elegant, it is decorated with several frescoes, which strongly contrasts with the rich decoration of the inner chapels. In the apse you can see the wooden choir made by monks in the late 17th century.

In the Basilica you will find a luxurious rose garden, which you can get into from the sacristy is all that remains of the ancient forest where once lived the Saint Francis and the monks. It is here that the Saint spoke with the doves, calling them together to pray to God. In the garden on the site of the cell where Francis was resting and praying, today is the Chapel of the Roses - it was built in the 13th century and enlarged in the 15th century.