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04. Church of Saint Francis

Phone 0371 420019
Street and number Piazza Ospitale
City Lodi

The Church of saint Francis is one of the main medieval monuments in Lodi. Its origins date back to 1252, when the bishop of Lodi, Buongiovanni Fissiraga, restored the Minor friars into the city, who had been expelled from the city gates due to the intolerance of the Ghibelines faction, and donated them the small Saint Niccolò church. A few years later the friars began building the new church, whose progress should have been near completion in 1290 when the remains of Bishop Bongiovanni were laid in it.

The Gothic-Romanic style church has an unfinished façade just above the central rose window and has “a cielo” mullioned windows with two lights, a typical Lodi detail devised to lighten the frontal structure. Just below the rose window is a porch with brickwork columns resting on high stone footstalls. Inside it has three naves with side chapels and transept, the architectural typology is widespread in Lombardy; it adopts lancet arches resting on cylindrical pillars with cross vaults. The church guards the most comprehensive collection of Lodi painting starting from the XIV century; among them, it is worth mentioning the votive fresco “Virgin with the baby Jesus, Saints Nicholas and Francis and Antonio Fissiraga showing the model of the church”.

Finally, the third chapel in the right nave, called the chapel of San Bernardino da Siena, was frescoed by Gian Giacomo da Lodi in twenty-two pictures dating back to 1477, depicting the life of the Saint.