Town of Assisi

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Photo: Roberto Ferrari

Location: Assisi, Italy

Official Listing: UNESCO World Heritage Site, 2000

Who Considers it Sacred? Romans and now Christians

Significance: Romans who built a Temple to Minerva (1st century AD) that stands near to the Basilica of San Francisco regarded Mount Subasio as sacred. Saint Francis of Assisi preached his “sermon to the birds” here. Francis of Assisi became a monk and preached in Assisi at the start of the 13th century. He advocated a return to harmony with nature, and the forsaking of excessive material wealth. He founded the Franciscan Order of monks, and when made a saint, became the patron saint of ecology.

Preservation Status: On September 26, 1997, a number of large earthquakes made many Assisi townspeople homeless and damaged many historic sacred sties. In particular, the Basilica di San Francesco was badly damaged, with some of its historic paintings ruined. In September 2002, however, a restoration campaign succeeded in restoring these.

For More Information: Site Saver Newsletter, Volume VIII, Number 2, Winter 1998

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