Church and Convent of San Francesco in Sarzana

Via Agostino Paci, 8, 19038 Sarzana SP, Italia

Simona Bertolaso



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The construction of the church and convent of San Francesco in Sarzana, by the Friars Minor, began in the 14th century and continued in various stages until the 16th century.
The church of San Francesco stands on a square just outside the walls. The first documented news of the religious building dates back to 1238, but tradition has it that St. Francis himself passed by Sarzana and founded the convent. At the end of the thirteenth century the convent was still under construction, while in the fifteenth century it was enlarged with the dormitory and the cloister.
The church has a gabled facade, opened by a semicircular window that illuminates the interior. Above the portal, a lunette of the seventeenth century represents the Virgin and Child. The marble architrave depicts Saint Bernardino of Siena surrounded by the Franciscan cord, a sign of the presence of the Friars Minor Observant, who took the place of the Franciscans in 1462. The church has a Latin cross plan with a single nave. The frescoes in the lunettes inside the cloister date back to the second half of the 17th century and are the work of Stefano Lemmi from Sarzana; they depict a short cycle of "Franciscan Stories".

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