Basilica of San Francisco el Grande

Madrid, Spain

The Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande is a Roman Catholic church in central Madrid. The main façade faces the Plaza of San Francisco, at the intersection of Bailén, the Gran Vía de san Francisco, and the Carrera de san Francisco. It forms part of the convent of Jesús y María of the Franciscan order. The convent was founded in the 13th century at the site of a chapel.

The basilica was designed in a Neoclassic style between 1761 and 1768, based on a design by Francisco Cabezas, developed by Antonio Pló, and completed by Francesco Sabatini. The church contains paintings by Zurbarán and Francisco Goya. The temple once functioned as the National pantheon and enshrined the remains of famous artists and politicians.

The dome is 33 metres in diameter and 58 metres in height; its shape is very similar to the Pantheon's dome, having a more circular shape than the typical domes built in the 18th century.

References:

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1761-1768
Category: Religious sites in Spain

Rating

4.6/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Anneka Austin (2 years ago)
One of the most stunningly beautiful churches I have ever seen, completely worth the visit. A must see!
Lilia Subkhankulova (2 years ago)
Most beautiful church at a nominal entry price. Some really beautiful frescos and paintings. I am glad we went - just be aware of the opening times.
macedonboy (2 years ago)
This is without one of the finest churches in Spain. From the outside it's not much to look at. It's only when you get to the front facade that you see it's been built in the Neo-Classical style, albeit decorated simply. The simplicity of the exterior belies the exceptional interiors with it's walls decorated with some of the most stunning paintings I've ever seen. Like most large churches, there are dedications to the twelve apostles. Here in this church there are larger than life statues dedicated to each. The cupola and alter are exceptional in it's artistry and are worth the entrance fee alone. As befits a church dedicated to Saint Francis, the church also contains a very large and special collection of paintings dedicated to the saint and the Franciscan order. A must see if in the city and totally worth the entrance fee. As an added bonus, there are guided tours, the only downside is that the tours are in Spanish only.
Sharon Blackford (2 years ago)
Gorgeous paintings and side chapels in this domed basilica. If you understand Spanish, the guided tour is excellent.
Glenn A. Jaspart (2 years ago)
Impressive basilica. One of the most beautiful cupolas in Spain (more than 30m in diameter). When inside, you can't help but feel belittled by such grandeur. The entrance is free but access to the museum will cost you a few Euros. A must-see if you are interested in breathtaking architecture.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.