The Chiesa Nuova, literally translated “New Church”, was built in 1615 on the site of the birthplace of Saint Francis of Assisi, where he lived with his family until he was 24 years old. The Saint had been locked inside here by his father after he had given away his possessions to have the San Damiano Church repaired. (St. Francis’ father would have preferred him to become a merchant.)
Chiesa Nuova Assisi
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Opening hours: 06.30 till 12.00 and 14.30 till 18.00. (During winter time the church closes one hour earlier. Closed: Never. Entrance fee: Free. Phone: +39 075812339. Address: Piazza di Chiesa Nuova, Assisi, Italy.
The Chiesa Nuova has a Greek cross as its floor plan, with a small dome on each arm of the cross and a larger dome in the center. The design was inspired by the one of Raphael’s for the Sant’Eligio degli Orafi Church in Rome.
The text above the entrance means, “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.”
In the square in front of the church is a statue sculpted by Roberto Joppolo, depicting the parents of San Francesco.
Construction of the church was largely financed by the Spanish King Filippo II.
What to see
Inside the church are some relics of St. Francis and the other Minorite Brothers.
There are several paintings by Giorgetti and by Sermei.
The organ was originally made for the San Damiano church and has been in the Chiesa Nuova since 1957.
From the church one can visit the warehouse of the store of St. Francis‘ father, Pietro Bernardone.