San Francesco Church

Lodi, Italy

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.



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Via Serravalle 6, Lodi, Italy
See all sites in Lodi


Founded: 1280
Category: Religious sites in Italy

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

S F (8 months ago)
In my opinion the most beautiful church in the city. Romanesque Gothic style. Inside there are many frescoes, partly restored and interesting to study. I recommend listening to an audio guide available on the web. At the entrance, on the left, there is the tomb of the poet Ada Negri.
Angela Giglio (14 months ago)
Church to visit carefully, both inside and out. Beautiful romantic facade, with a notable rose window and splendid mullioned windows from which the sky emerges. To visit inside admiring the frescoed columns, the side chapels rich in art, the magnificent organ at the bottom on the left. It also houses the tomb of Ada Negri. Don't miss the plaque outside with the verses dedicated by the poet to the church of S Francesco
Emanu Spe (2 years ago)
So unusual, exciting, unexpected! The columns dividing the naves are decorated with precious Gothic elegance or Romanesque solemnity. I adore...
Roberto Pavanello (3 years ago)
Magical place. A dip in the Christian Middle Ages, also favored by the choir that has impeccably performed the immortal gregorial melodies.
Paolo Fregonese (3 years ago)
Beautiful Gothic church with a particular façade with open mullioned windows (almost unfinished) that dominates the square in front. Special interiors, frescoes on the walls and columns well preserved (some a little pickled). Inside there is the tomb of Ada Negri: some of her poems are outside on the right of the church behind the cypresses.
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The Church of the Holy Cross served the monastery until 1538, when it was abandoned for a hundred years as the Franciscan friary was disbanded in the Swedish Reformation. The church was re-established as a Lutheran church in 1640, when the nearby Church of the Holy Trinity was destroyed by fire.

The choir of the two-aisle grey granite church features medieval murals and frescoes. The white steeple of the church was built in 1816 and has served as a landmark for seafarers.