Basilica of San Francesco Siena

The San Francesco Church is a basilica in Siena. It is best known for the frescoes by the Lorenzetti brothers and for the Sacre Particole, the consecrated wafers kept in a special monstrance.

San Francesco Basilica Siena

Useful Information

The address of the Chiesa di San Francesco is Piazza San Francesco, 6 – 53100 Siena. Tel. +39 057749406. Opening hours: 07.30 to 12.00 and 15.30 to 19.00. Entrance fee: Free. Bus: 002, 005, 032, 57/P, 107, 109, 111, 112, 114, 134R, 138, 139, R54/A.

San Francesco Basilica Siena from the Torre del Mangia
The Basilica of San Francesco seen from the Torre del Mangia.

History San Francesco Church Siena

Until 1460, the part of the city where this church is located was outside the city walls. At the urging of Pope Pius II Piccolomini, whose parents were buried in the San Francesco Church, the walls were expanded to encompass the church.

Construction of the church began in 1326 and the work was completed in 1475. However, the current neo-Gothic facade dates from 1913.

The interior is characterized by a huge Gothic nave. The walls are made of broad black and white stripes.

Art in the San Francesco Basilica

Crucifixion, Pietro Lorenzetti (around 1336)
Crucifixion, Pietro Lorenzetti (around 1336)

In the left transept are two chapels with frescoes painted between 1331 and 1335 by the brothers Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Pietro painted the “Crucifixion” in the first chapel. The “San Ludovico d’Anjou at the Feet of Pope Boniface VIII” and “The Martyrdom of the Franciscan Friars in Ceuta” in the 3rd chapel were painted by Ambrogio.

In a more modern chapel, the so-called “Eucaristic Miracle of Siena” is preserved. This miracle consisted of 200 consecrated wafers stolen from the church in 1730 being found intact and kept fresh in the Santa Maria in Provenzano Church. They are now back in the San Francesco Church and are kept in a precious monstrance.

The cloister and its corridors have been adapted into university buildings.

San Francesco Basilica Siena

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