The birthplace of St. Francis
Assisi is located in the Province of Perugia also known as the city of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Clare, an Italian religious and collaborator of St. Francis as well as the founder of the Poor Clares, besides being one of the most visited place in Umbria and favorite destination of many pilgrims from all over the world for the devotion to the Saint.
The city’s origins are very uncertain and it seems that it was originally inhabited by a colony of Umbria allocated in central Italy, and subsequently had an Etruscan and Roman influence which shows the ruins of the Roman “Municipium” called “Asisium”. Later was governed by the Lombards and, roughly around the year one thousand, acquired its independence favoring an exceptional development through the monastic movement especially that of the Benedictines (confederation that aggregates monastic congregations and autonomous monasteries that passes on their religion of monasticism of St. Benedict).
St. Francis was born in Assisi in 1182, and in 1202, during the war with Perugia, was captured and imprisoned for more than a year. Roughly around 1206, he devoted himself to the poor living despite belonging to a rich family. He died in poverty in 1226, just two years after his death, he was proclaimed a Saint by Pope Gregory IX.
The Assisi monuments
In addition to the religious aspect that the city has, in Assisi, there are also many historical monuments to visit:
Temple of Minerva of the first century BC is still well preserved; it was built entirely by quatuorviri (College of four judges elected in Roman municipalities) Gneo Cesio e Tito Cesio Prisco and seems to have been dedicated to Hercules saw the discovery of a votive plaque;
Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo built near the Temple between 1212 and 1305, but unfortunately, due to the restoration of 1927, has compromised the original appearance of the building;
The Church of Santa Maria Maggiore of the tenth century and cathedral of Assisi until 1036 with frescoes of the XIV and XV century and a late medieval sarcophagus of the ninth century;
The Rocca Maggiore built as a feudal german castle where Frederick of Swabia, the future Emperor Frederick II, spent several years of his childhood;
The majestic Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli was built to accommodate the multitude of pilgrims visiting the Portiuncula, as the original chapel of Santa Maria degli Angeli that St. Francis received as a gift from the Benedictine monks of Subasio.