San Rufino Cathedral Assisi

The San Rufino Cathedral of Assisi is not dedicated to St. Francis but to the city’s second saint. Tradition has it that the remains of this saint are buried under the cathedral’s main altar. The present version of the cathedral dates mostly back to the 12th century. The church was completely restored after the 1997 earthquake.

San Rufino Cathedral Assisi

Address, opening hours and entrance fee

San Rufino Cathedral Assisi
San Rufino Cathedral

Address: Piazza San Rufino, 3 / Assisi. Telephone: +39 075813085. Opening hours: 08.00 – 13.00 and 15.00 – 19.00. (In winter afternoons from 14.00 – 18.00.) Closed: Never. Entrance fee: Free.

History

The Duomo of Assisi was meant to be a burial place for the saint to whom it is dedicated. It is located in the square of the same name, which might have been the site of the Forum in Roman times. A first church is said to have been built on the site where a temple built to the Bona Mater is supposed to have been located in Roman times.

It is from the Piazza San Rufino that St. Franciscus held his first speeches.

Bell tower San Rufino, Assisi
Bell tower

The first version of the current church is thought to date back to the 8th century. The Romanesque bell tower was built in the 11th century, on top of an ancient Roman water reservoir.

Giovanni da Gubbio was responsible for a reconstruction in 1135. Most of the current appearance of the church is a result of his interventions.

Subsequent renovations and embellishments (including under Alessio in 1571 and later reconstructions at the end of the 19th century) have contributed more to its current appearance.

After the 1997 earthquake, a complete restoration of the Cathedral was necessary.

Description

Facade

The façade is made of travertine marble combined with the classic white and pink stone of Subasio and consists of three parts, with a central lunette, three rose windows and three entrance gates.

The central rose window is decorated with the symbols of the Evangelists, Matthew (man), Mark (winged lion), Luke (bull) and John (eagle).

Interior

The interior of the cathedral, which consists of three naves with 10 side chapels, was remodeled by Alessi in the 16th century.

Once inside, one finds beautiful frescoes, a museum and, at the beginning of the right nave, the baptismal font where Saint Francis and Santa Chiara are said to have been baptized.

Below the church is a crypt containing the remains of San Rufino.

Curiosities

The birthplace of Santa Chiara is located next to the bell tower of the Cathedral.

San Rufino Cathedral, Assisi

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