Chiesa di San Francesco, Pavia

4.6
#5 of 27 in Historic Sites in Pavia
Church · Hidden Gem · Tourist Spot
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  • Rare example of double portal can be seen on the facade of this beautiful Gothic church built in 14tn century, the facade is also a beautiful design made with the red of the bricks and the white of... 
    Rare example of double portal can be seen on the facade of this beautiful Gothic church built in 14tn century, the facade is also a beautiful design made with the red of the bricks and the white of...  more »
  • The Catholic church of San Francesco Grande wasl built in the 13th century, at the NE-side of of the historical block of the University. The structure of the church has three naves. Inside there is....  more
    The Catholic church of San Francesco Grande wasl built in the 13th century, at the NE-side of of the historical block of the University. The structure of the church has three naves. Inside there is....  more »
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  • Pavia is my favorite city from Italy.
  • According to tradition, the first Franciscan community settled in the city by the express will of St. Francis of Assisi two years before his death. Leaving aside the tradition, of which we have no documentary evidence, we do not know exactly when the church was founded, although, similarly to what happened in Milan, probably, the first Franciscan community settled in the city around the end of the second decade of the thirteenth century. Initially the friars settled at a church dedicated to the Madonna, located outside the city walls, where they are still reported in a document of 1234, and in 1267 the construction of the church began within the walls of Pavia, the current church of San Francesco Grande. The construction of the new building proceeded very slowly, given that, despite the numerous donations, the church and the nearby convent could be said to be almost completed in 1298, when the Franciscans definitively abandoned the suburban complex which was ceded by them to the Carmelites. Further interventions in the architectural and decorative apparatus, such as the fa├žade, took place in the early decades of the fourteenth century, there is also news of a chapel (currently dedicated to Sant'Agnese) built in 1307, while other chapels were added starting from 1339. After the capture of Pavia in 1359, Galeazzo II moved his court from Milan to Pavia and the church was chosen by the lord, and then by his son Gian Galeazzo, to house the burials of members of the family or prominent figures; In fact, Isabella di Valois (first wife of Gian Galeazzo), Carlo and Azzone (sons of Gian Galeazzo and Isabella), the Marquis Manfredo V di Saluzzo, Baldo degli Ubaldi and, later, Facino Cane were buried here. In addition, the church received donations from prominent figures of the Visconti court, as in 1388, when Ottone Mandelli left the Franciscans three Gothic busts in embossed and gilded copper (still preserved in the church) containing the relics of Sant'Apollonio, San Vittore and Santa Corona, taken by Mandelli in the fortress of Canossa in 1381. The main nave In 1739 the church underwent heavy alterations (the interior of the building was plastered and covered with Baroque stucco) which altered its original appearance, partly recovered thanks to the restorations undertaken between the end of the nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century. Next to the church stood the convent of the Friars Minor Conventual which contained three large cloisters, demolished in 1708, for the construction of the new convent complex. The convent was suppressed in 1781 by Joseph II, who installed it in the Germanic-Hungarian College, later transformed into a barracks, now the seat of the Cairoli College, while the church, from 1805, became a parish and entrusted to the secular clergy. In 1845 the clergy of the parish consisted of a priest and four coadjutors, which rose to six in 1877, while its population numbered 5,457 souls in 1807, increased to 5,800 in 1822. From the pastoral visit made by Bishop Agostino Gaetano Riboldi in 1898 we are informed that the pious union of the Holy Family, the company of San Luigi Gonzaga, the congregation of the Third Order of San Francesco d'Assisi were operative in the parish.

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