The Basilic of San Francesco in Siena
Prenota il Sangallo Park Hotel e scopri la Basilica di San Francesco
The Basilica of St. Francis is among the most important of Siena. The church was built in 1228-1255 and later expanded, between the fourteenth and fifteenth century, with building works that started the transformation of the primitive Romanesque building into the immense Gothic structure of today. The building plan is an Egypt cross with a single nave, according to the simplified architectural model of the mendicant orders, which aimed to create an environment of large size, extremely suitable to the preaching of a large crowd of believers. The walls are characterized by alternating bands of black and white stone, everything is illuminated by large mullioned windows and the four lights window at the apse, according to the simple Franciscan style of the fourteenth century. Along the walls extraordinary frescoes of the Sienese school of the early fifteenth century are preserved, at the front right of the transept there is a statue of St. Francis, from the fourteenth century, the inner facade bears two frescoes by Sodoma and Sassetta. It preserves the "Holy Hosts", the hosts remained miraculously incorrupt since August 14, 1730, the day of the theft of a ciborium containing them. They were later found in the collegiate church of Provenzano. Since then, until today, they have remained intact, with no signs of alteration.
Oratory of San Bernardino and Museum of Sacred Art
Adjacent to the Basilica of San Francesco, the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art is housed in several rooms of the Oratory of San Bernardino. Its architectural structure, dating to the late medieval period and restored in the sixteenth century, (built in the place where the saint used to preach) is a true work of art. It is a magical and charming place, one of the most interesting museum spaces in Siena. It offers, from the thirteenth century, a panorama of the Sienese painting production. Core of the museum is the beautiful chapel of the oratory with wood coffered ceiling and gilded cherubs on a blue background. Along the walls great scenes of the story of the life of the Virgin Mary are frescoed by Domenico Beccafumi, Sodoma and Girolamo Pacchia. The extraordinary collection of the Diocesan Museum gathers a series of masterpieces of inestimable value that come from the churches of the diocese of Siena. The entrance portal of the Museum introduces to the square room of the lower oratory, which has a blue star vaulted ceiling, at its centre Arcangelo Salimbeni painted a fresco of the Virgin Mary who protects Siena, San Bernardino and Santa Caterina, it was completed in 1580 by Francesco Vanni. Among the paintings there are on display tables by Sano di Pietro, Taddeo di Bartoloand Andrea Vanni, paintings by Ventura Salimbeni and Matteo di Giovanni, sculptures by Vecchietta, a terra cotta by Jacopo della Quercia, in addition to the fresco with the Risen Christ, one of the artworks by Ambrogio Lorenzetti.