Church of St. Francis of Assisi Palermo
Churh of Saint Francis of Assisi It is one of the most beautiful monuments of Palermo, and for some the most important for both artistic and historical value. The story begins with the arrival of the Franciscans in Palermo in the thirteenth century. The church dates back to 1260 and exactly the current portal was built in the early '300. The church in the course of its history was the subject of many transformations, as evidenced by the variety of styles represented in it. Between the fourteenth century and the fifteenth century the portals were built and also several chapels in Gothic and Renaissance style, including the Chapel Mastrantonio, the first manifestation of the Renaissance in Sicily. In the seventeenth century, the interior of the church was decorated with stucco and frescoes by Pietro Novelli and the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception was enriched with polychrome marble. In the eighteenth century the pillars of the church was adorned with the statues of Virtue Franciscan Giacomo Serpotta.
On 5 March 1823 the building was damaged by an earthquake. The church was restored in the classical style. In the twentieth century, it was restored to its original appearance of the facade with the reconstruction of the canopy that was destroyed by the earthquake. The main facade of the building, Gothic, has three portals of the fourteenth century.
The aisles still have the original Gothic windows. The interior of the basilica is composed of the compartment is divided into three aisles by pointed arches on pillars, more quadrangular apse and sixteen chapels. The aisles are still covered with the original vaults, while the nave is covered by a trussed roof made after the restoration of the twentieth century. One of the side chapels, of considerable importance is the Chapel Mastrantonio (1468-1469), a work produced in collaboration by Francesco Laurana and Pietro de Bonitate, inaugurating the first forms of the Sicilian Renaissance, in a still Gotic climate. The church contains many valuable works of art. In the gallery of the church it is the monument of Athanasius Special, built in 1473 by Domenico Gagini and in the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, a sculpture of Our Lady of Salvation, by the same artist.
In the Chapel of the Genoese there is a St. George slaying the dragon, relief by Antonello Gagini built between 1519 and 1526. The Chapel of the seventeenth century is decorated with polychrome marbles. The vaults are decorated with stucco and frescoes by Pietro Novelli (first half of the seventeenth century). The church is also enriched by a series of ten statues representing the Franciscan Virtue (1723), considered among the best works of Giacomo Serpotta. The great mausoleum contains, kept in a special chapel, the Immaculate’s coffin that every year, on the evening of December 8th, pass through the streets of the historic center among thousands of faithful people who accompany the procession till the Piazza San Domenico.
Visit the Church of St. Francis of Assisi Palermo.
The Church is included in our walking tour or by car or minivan with driver/guide.