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New Church of Assisi

New Church of Assisi

Erected in 1615 on the remains of a building thought to be the paternal house of St. Francis by order of Philip III, King of Spain.

The layout of the building follows the rules of Baroque architecture. The brickwork facade is divided into four pilasters holding up a Doric trabeation with attic and gable, above which rises a hemispherical dome. The interior has a Greek-cross plan, with domes above the arms and central body with octagonal base.

The surface is entirely covered with frescoes dating back to circa 1621 and stucco-work to 1769. There are frescoes by Cesare Sermei and Vincenzo Giorgetti. The pillars holding the dome portray eight episodes from the life of St. Francis.

The first pillar on the left shows the small cell where Pietro di Bernardone locked up young Francis in chains to lead him away from his life as a penitent and from his love of the poor.

Oratory of S. Francesco Piccolino

The space is covered by an ogival vault and retains traces of 14th-century frescoes. According to a pious legend, this is the stable where the mother of St. Francis withdrew to deliver her child, choosing a humble environment.

These words can still be read on the ogival portal: “This oratory was the cattleshed of an ox and of a donkey. It is where the blessed Francis, mirror of the world, was born”.

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