San Francesco Birth House, Assisi
Outside the birthplace of San Francesco, in an intimate and suggestive square, you can see a modern bronze sculpture representing Francesco's parents.
Opposite stands the seventeenth-century New Church - an imposing facade, with a solemn and monumental rhythm, typical of Renaissance architecture. Do not despair and trust what is written in Latin at the top of the portal that I translate to you: "The house of Francis' parents has become a temple of God, while the prison where he was locked up by his father is still visible ”. So now enter and you will find that the church was built on the place that tradition believed was that of the house of Bernardone and Pica, the parents of Francesco.
The interior is also decidedly different from the churches you have visited so far: those were long and narrow, we can therefore say that they developed in length while this one has the plan of a cross, with four equal arms, and is covered by a large dome.
Near the first pillar on the left you will find the room where Bernardone is said to have chained the young rebel, hoping to distract him from his life as a penitent and dedicated to the poor and bring him back to the paternal profession of commerce. Inside this kind of prison you can also see the wooden statue of the praying saint.
You must know that it was the mother who broke the chains to make him escape: he had in fact understood that Francesco was not crazy but only in love with more authentic values than the selfish wealth proposed by his father.
The nearby oratory named " San Francesco Piccolino " is believed to be the place where the saint's mother would have given birth. Outside the portal there is another inscription in Latin: "This oratory was the stable of the ox and the donkey where St. Francis was born, mirror of the world".
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Assisi. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
San Francesco Birth House on Map
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