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Chiesa ed ex convento di San Francesco

Via San Francesco, Mariano Comense

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History and Architecture

Founded in 1228 by St Anthony of Padua as a Franciscan monastery, the original structure, in the Romanesque style, had a nave and two aisles with a round apse and no bell tower. The first campanile had been built in the 17th century, but was demolished at once because it threatened the stability of the church itself. Later, a belfry with two bells was erected on the wall of the fa├žade and only the nave was left, as the aisles were turned into eight chapels. In the 17th century, the cloister was rebuilt with columns of Molera stone. On 30 July 1795 a tax was levied on the monastery to cover the costs incurred by the French army in the liberation of Lombardy from Austrian rule. As the monastery did not have sufficient funds to pay the tax, Napoleon ordered its suppression in 1799: the community of friars was transferred to Casale Maggiore and all the furnishings were acquired by Count Ignazio Besana, who destroyed a third of the cloister and over half of the church and concealed the west colonnade. Following renovation, the church was reopened for worship at the end of 2011.

Hours of opening to the public

Open while services are being held.