The former San Francesco Church in Alessandria was built in the 13th century. In the 19th century the building was transformed into a military hospital and today it is a municipal building.
San Francesco Church Alessandria
The address of the ex-Chiesa di San Francesco is Via XXIV Maggio – Alessandria.
History and description
The San Francesco Church was built between 1254 and 1290 by the Franciscans, probably on the occasion of a visit by the saint himself.
In 1290, Pope Niccolò IV issued an indulgence for those people who wished travel to Alessandria to pray in the church.
Another theory is that the document mentioning the indulgence refers to an earlier church and that the present structure was commissioned by the aristocrat Guglielmo Inviziati in 1320.
The bell tower and one of the chapels (presumably the San Ludovico Chapel) were added in 1320 by order of the merchant Antonio Boidi. The adjoining convent also dates from that time.
In 1802, religious orders were banned by Napoleon and the monastery was converted into a horse barracks. The church was divided into two floors.
In 1833 Carlo Alberto turned it into a military hospital, a function it held until 1989.
Today the former church is the property of the city of Alessandria.