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Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and Other Franciscan Sites
Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: -
Date of Inscription: 2000
Location: Europe, Italy, Umbria, Province of Perugia
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Description: The medieval city of Assisi, which was built on top of a hill, is the birthplace of Saint Francis and is strongly connected with the work of the Franciscan Order. Assisi has been a fundamental reference point for the development of Italian and European art and architecture, especially due to its medieval art masterpieces, such as the Basilica of San Francesco and paintings by Cimabue, Pietro Lorenzetti, Simone Martini and Giotto. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available.
  Assisi, is a town in Italy in province of Perugia, Italy, in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Mt. Subasio. It is the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Clares. Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows of the 19th century was also born in Assisi. The Franciscan monastery (Sacro Convento) and the lower and upper church (Basilica inferiore e superiore) of St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in 1228. Simone di Pucciarello donated the land for the church, a hill at the west side of Assisi, known as "Hill of Hell" (it. Collo d'Inferno - here the criminals were put to death). Today, this hill is aptly called "Hill of Paradise". The foundation stone was laid by Pope Gregory IX on 17 July 1228, although construction may already have been begun. This impressive church was designed and supervised by brother Elia Bombardone, one of the first followers of St. Francis and the former provincial minister of Syria. The lower basilica was finished in 1230. On Pentecost 25 May 1230 the uncorrupted body of St. Francis was brought in a solemn procession to the lower basilica from its temporary burial place in the church of St. George (now the basilica of St. Clare). The construction of the upper basilica was begun after 1239. Construction was completed in 1253. Its architecture is a synthesis of Romanesque and French Gothic artwork, establishing many of the typical characteristics of Italian Gothic architecture. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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