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San Francesco D’Assisi

The construction was built on an ancient underground church of SS. Peter and Paul. This rock church can still be visited today, it is accessed through a trap door from the third chapel on the left and there is a fresco depicting the visit of Pope Urban II to Matera in 1093. Some chroniclers narrate that in 1218 said church hosted San Francesco d ‘ Assisi in person.

The first structure of the church, however, dates back to the first half of the thirteenth century, but had an arrangement exactly opposite to the modern one, and today we can still see the bell cell with frescoed walls.

A first expansion took place already in the fifteenth century, but it is necessary to wait until the eighteenth century for the Church and the convent to reach their maximum splendor, and it is at this period that the beautiful late Baroque facade, bright and harmonious, dates from the architects Vito Valentino. and Tommaso Pennetta. During the guided tour you can admire, in the center of the upper facade, the statue of the Immaculate Conception, and on both sides, San Francesco and Sant’Antonio.

The interior has a single nave with small chapels dedicated to some noble benefactors of Matera. It houses a fine polyptych of nine tempera paintings on wood by Lazzaro Bastiani, an artist from the Venetian school of the 1500s.