The Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore is located in the Piazza del Vescovado in Assisi and was built over an ancient Roman temple, which was probably dedicated to the God Janus. The early Christian crypt beneath the church can also be visited.
Santa Maria Maggiore Church Assisi
Address, opening hours and entrance fee
Opening hours: From Easter to November: 08:30 – 19:00; from November to Easter: 08:30 – 17:00. Closed: Never. Entrance fee: Free. Telephone: +39 075813085. Address: Piazza del Vescovado – Assisi, Italy. Alternative name: Santuario della Spogliazione.
History and Description
The church already existed in the time of St. Francis and served as the cathedral of Assisi until 1035, when the Cathedral of San Rufino was finished and took over this task.
The architectural style, like that of many other churches in Assisi built in the 11th and 12th centuries, is Romanesque-Gothic.
It is characterized by an austere facade, with a small central rose window. The interior is divided into three naves. The apse is semi-circular.
The early Christian crypt under the church can also be visited. From this crypt a corridor leads to the so-called Casa di Properzio. From the adjacent garden one can see the ruins of a Roman wall on which a later medieval wall was built.
Works of art
The frescoes are from the 14th and 15th centuries and were created by unknown artists (probably from the Umbrian school). However, despite a restoration in the 1930’s, they are not very well preserved.
To the right of the entrance is an 11th century sarcophagus.