2: Some important locations

We're visiting some locations in Assisi that were important to Francesco Bernardone as a young man, and continued to be so in his later life.
Above is the church of Santa Chiara, completed in 1260. At the beginning of that century a small church, San Giorgio, stood here, just outside the city walls, and it was in this that Francis began his education.  There is much more to say about Santa Chiara, and we will head back there later. Below is the very beautiful church and monastery of San Damiano. Again, much to tell, and I will devote the entire next page to tell its story.

Below is the rather bombastic facade of the church if Santa Maria degli Angeli, about four kilometres from the centre of Assisi. Following earthquakes, it was rebuilt in the 1930s. Inside is something much more interesting: the Porziuncola. Its foundation dates from the eleventh century; by the time of St Francis it had fallen into disrepair, and following his San Damiano vision we will read about on the next page he began to rebuild it. The Porziuncola and the forested area around it became the early base for the Franciscans, probably in tents and shacks around the building. St Francis died here in a simple infirmary building; a chapel built on the site of it forms part of the church - the Capella del Transito.
Back to the Chiesa Nuova. Various claims have been made about various parts of the church. The site of the altar is said to be where Francis slept. To the side is a small room with the appearance of a prison cell. It is said that Francis's father lashed him and imprisoned him here when he realised that he was giving away money from the business to beggars.
On the stairs that lead down to the oratory, once a warehouse, there is a fine modern ceramic panel showing Francis thanking his mother for releasing him from his father's captivity.

Back to page 1                                           On to San Damiano

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