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Church of Saint Francis

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 4050-297 Porto, Portugal

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"Make sure to visit the Church of St. Francis in Rome during the late afternoon when the setting sun shines through the stained glass windows, creating a breathtaking display of colors. Also, check with the local parish as they sometimes host intimate concerts which are a serene way to experience the church's excellent acoustics, events that are not widely advertised to tourists."

What is the Church of St. Francis?

The Church of St. Francis, also known as San Francesco a Ripa, stands quietly in the Trastevere district of Rome, a neighborhood known for its timeless charm and vivacious nightlife. This church may not have the grandeur of St. Peter's Basilica or the mighty history of the Roman Colosseum, but it holds its own as a place of deep spiritual significance and artistic merit. San Francesco a Ripa is named after the 'ripa' or bank of the nearby River Tiber where St. Francis of Assisi once stayed.

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As a place of worship, it offers a serene retreat from the bustling city streets around it. Within its sacred walls, visitors find themselves embraced by a history that intertwines the divine with the everyday lives of those who have come before, making it more than just a point of interest; it's a tangible piece of Rome's living history.

History of the Church of St. Francis

The Church of St. Francis, originally built in the early 13th century, holds records of sanctity and kindness that date back to the times when St. Francis himself visited Rome. It is believed he stayed at the ancient hospice for the poor attached to the church—hence its name. Through centuries, the church underwent numerous changes, particularly in the 17th and 18th centuries when it was significantly reconstructed and embellished.

Not widely known is the fact that the convent attached to the church once housed a tiny room where St. Francis resided, which is now a cherished sanctuary for pilgrims. Moreover, the church has become a repository for artistic treasures over the ages, including works by prominent Baroque artists. Each artwork and architectural modification tells a story of the periods they represent, weaving a rich tapestry of faith and history.

From its modest beginnings to the present day, San Francesco a Ripa has witnessed the ebb and flow of Rome's fortunes and has remained a steadfast symbol of Franciscan simplicity amidst the shifting tides of time.

Why is the Church of St. Francis Important?

The Church of St. Francis's importance isn't solely derived from its historical and architectural merits; it's equally revered as a symbol of the Franciscan Order's values—humility, compassion, and a dedication to the poor. These principles radiate through the very fabric of the church, making it a pilgrimage site for those following in the footsteps of St. Francis.

Another reason for the church's significance is its art, which includes the spellbinding Ecstasy of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, a sculpture by none other than Gian Lorenzo Bernini. This masterpiece is considered one of Bernini's later works and is a powerful evocation of religious passion and mystical experience.

Moreover, the church fosters a unique connection to the community, serving as a testament to the intertwined relationship between spirituality and daily Italian life for nearly eight centuries. Thus, the Church of St. Francis earns its importance not just through its existence, but through the immeasurable spiritual influence it has maintained over many generations.

Things to Do & See at the Church of St. Francis

Upon entering San Francesco a Ripa, the atmosphere embraces you with a sense of tranquility that's all too rare in the city. Visitors can explore a variety of chapels, each with their dedicated altarpieces and frescoes that echo the artistry of the Baroque period. Many come here to see the famed statue by Bernini, the Ecstasy of Blessed Ludovica Albertoni, and remain to soak in the contemplative environment.

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The cell where St. Francis is said to have stayed is a humbling reminder of the church's foundational spirit of poverty and remains a key site for private reflection. Additionally, the beautiful wooden choir and the Capella di Paluzzi-Albertoni are known for their intricate details and craftsmanship. I often suggest lingering there to truly appreciate the effort and devotion etched into every surface.

Though not as crowded as other churches in Rome, San Francesco a Ripa offers a depth of experience through self-guided tours or even better, guided tours for those interested in the stories behind the stone and mortar. For the blissful end to a visit, it's lovely to stroll through the Trastevere neighborhood, absorbing its bohemian allure and perhaps concluding with a relaxing meal at one of the local trattorias.

Frequently asked questions

What is the history of the Church of St. Francis in Rome?

The Church of St. Francis in Rome has a rich history dating back to medieval times. It was established by the Franciscan Order and is dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi, the founder of the Franciscan Order. The church is known for its historical architecture and religious significance.

Where is the Church of St. Francis located in Rome?

The Church of St. Francis is located in the heart of Rome. The exact address is often provided in travel guides or can be found using GPS services to help visitors reach the destination.

What are the visiting hours for the Church of St. Francis in Rome?

The visiting hours for the Church of St. Francis can vary, so it's recommended to check the latest information on the church's official website or contact the church administration directly to get the most accurate and up-to-date information.

Are there any special artifacts or features within the Church of St. Francis that visitors should see?

Yes, the Church of St. Francis houses several important religious artifacts, artwork, and architectural features that are of great interest to visitors. These might include frescoes, sculptures, and historical relics associated with the life of Saint Francis of Assisi. Visitors should inquire at the church for more details or join a guided tour to gain a comprehensive understanding of the church's treasures.

Is there an entrance fee to visit the Church of St. Francis in Rome?

Churches in Rome are generally free to enter, but some may ask for a donation or charge a fee for entry to certain parts of the church or for guided tours. To confirm whether there is an entrance fee for the Church of St. Francis, you should verify current policies either online or by contacting the church directly.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 4050-297 Porto, Portugal

Opening Hours

9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps