The places of Basilica

The construction of the upper church of the Papal Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi was completed in 1253 during the Pontificate of Pope Innocent IV.

Its architecture recalls that of French Gothic, but with simple bright lines and colors, that are consistent with typical Italian style. The interior consists of a single nave with four bays, a large transept and a polygonal apse. The windows are of stained-glass; and the buttresses consist of bundles of columns. The architectural ensemble creates a sense of balance and serenity.

The sanctuary is decorated with frescoes by Cimabue and the painter known as the 'Master Oltremontano'. In the highest section of the bays in the nave can be found frescoes portraying the history of salvation. They are the work of several artists -- in particular Jacopo Torriti. In the lower sections one finds the cycle on the life of Francis and his Order. According to the opinion of many art experts, these frescoes represent the work of Giotto; other scholars contend that they are the work of the Roman painting school.