convento-e-chiesa-di-san-francesco credit: Mario Bonuccelli

San Francesco church and convent

During the 15th century, the Franciscan friars who inhabited the small convent in Nebbiana (including Michele Turignoli, founder, of the convent of Sant’Elisabetta), moved to the castle of Barga to assist the population affected by the plague

They were given the rooms next to the church of the oratory of the Santissimo Crocifisso church by the 'Battuti della Croce’ company.

When the emergency had passed, the Franciscans were invited to remain within the walls of the Castle. They declined the offer but asked and obtained, first from the Pope and then from the town hall, the permission to build a new convent closer to the centre. The current location in Pian di Gragno was chosen and works began in 1470.

The small adjoining church was later added and it was adorned with admirable works by Della Robbia such as the statues of Saints Anthony and Andrew and three exquisite altarpieces.

The Order of Friars Minor left Barga in 1810 following a decree by Napoleon which suppressed many religious communities including that of the Franciscans of Barga.

Between the 1990s and the early 2000s, the convent was completely renovated. Today you can visit and admire the works housed in the adjacent church.

Source: La guida di Barga

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