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Cathedral of Saint Rufinus

Cathedral of Saint Rufinus

The cathedral of Saint Rufinus is the main Catholic place of worship in the town of Assisi.

In the 8th century, the remains of the patron saint were moved from the cemetery outside Assisi to the small church known as parva basilica, inside the city walls in the area called “Bona Matre”, the current church square.

In the early 11th century, bishop Ugo decided to build a new basilica, which hence took the name of “Ugoniana”. The crypt and the lower part of the bell tower, built over a Roman cistern, are still visible today.

A few years later, in 1134, it was decided to build a new church placed back in relation to the previous buildings, creating a large square where the previous church stood. This was completely demolished to free up space. Giovanni da Gubbio was called for the new church. The works began in 1134 and lasted a long time, like all the great works at the time.

The building was consecrated in 1253 by Pope Innocent IV. In the mid-16th century, the church interior was radically transformed by architect Galeazzo Alessi from Perugia.

Diocesan Museum and Crypt of Saint Rufinus

In the picturesque premises, one can visit the remains of the original Romanesque cloister and the crypt of the 11th-century Basilica Ugoniana with the remains of very rare frescoes.

The apse features the Roman sarcophagus carved with the myth of Selene and Endymion, where the mortal remains of Saint Rufinus were placed. The collection includes a remarkable lapidary and paintings made between the 13th and 18th century.


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