San Francesco Church was built between 1280 and the early 14th century, on the site a small church of the Minor Friars dedicated to St. Nicholas. The construction was commissioned by the Lodi bishop Bongiovanni Fissiraga.
In 1527 it was assigned to the Reformed Franciscan Order of St. Bernardino, who, in 1840, were replaced by the Barnabites. In the first years of their tenure, they carried on a wide restoration program, which was completed in 1842.
The church has an unfinished façade in cream-color brickwork, charactersized by a tall ogival cusped portico, also in brickwork. This is flanked by two blind columns and surmounted by a large rose window in white marble, in turn sided by two double ogival mullioned windows.
The wide interior is on the Latin cross plan, divided into a nave and two aisles with four spans each; there are also side chapels. The nave and the aisles are cross-vaulted, separated by ogival arches supported by large brickwork columns. Walls and columns are decorated by numerous frescoes dating from the 14th to the 18th century; among the many 14th century ones, particularly renowned are the Madonna with Child, Saints and Antonio Fissiraga from an unknown Lombard master. In the right aisles are 16th-century frescoes depicting Madonna with St. Francis, St. Bonaventure and a Donor by the local painter Sebastiano Galeotti, a collaborator of Callisto Piazza.
Among the 16th- and 17th-century paintings are included a Saint Anthony meeting Ezzelino III da Romano by il Malosso, St. Francis Receiving the stigmata by Sollecito Arisi and a Madonna of Caravaggio by Enea Salmeggia.
The church contains the tombs of several notable people, including the poet Ada Negri and the naturalist Agostino Bassi.References:
The Seaplane Harbour is the newest and one of the most exciting museums in Tallinn. It tells stories about the Estonian maritime and military history. The museum’s display, that comprises of more than a couple of hundred large exhibits, revitalizes the colourful history of Estonia.
British built submarine Lembit weighing 600 tones is the centrepiece of the new museum. Built in 1936 for the Estonian navy, Lembit served in the World War II under the Soviet flag. It remained in service for 75 years being the oldest submarine in the World still in use until it was hauled ashore in 2011. Despite its long history, Lembit is still in an excellent condition offering a glimpse of the 1930s art of technology.
Another exciting attraction is a full-scale replica of Short Type 184, a British pre-World War II seaplane, which was also used by the Estonian armed forces. Short Type 184 has earned its place in military history by being the first aircraft ever to attack an enemy’s ship with an air-launched torpedo. Since none of the original seaplanes have survived, the replica in Seaplane Harbour is the only full-size representation of the aircraft in the whole World.
Simulators mimicking a flight above Tallinn, around-the-world journey in the yellow submarine, navigating on the Tallinn bay make this museum heaven for kids or adventurous adults.
Seaplane Harbour operates in architecturally unique hangars built almost a century ago, in 1916 and 1917, as a part of Peter the Great sea fortress. These hangars are the World’s first reinforced concrete shell structures of such a great size. Charles Lindbergh, the man who performed the first solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, landed here in 1930s.
On the outdoor area visitors can tour a collection of historic ships, including the Suur Tõll, Europe's largest steam-powered icebreaker.