The San Gregorio Maggiore Church is located in the Piazza Garibaldi in Spoleto. The biggest attractions of this church are the crypt and the medieval frescoes in the presbytery.
San Gregorio Maggiore Church Spoleto
Address, opening hours and admission
Address: Chiesa di San Gregorio Maggiore: Piazza Garibaldi – 06049 Spoleto (tel. +39 074344140). Opening hours: From 08.00 till 12.00 and from 15.30 till 18.00 . Admission: Free.
Before the San Gregorio Maggiore Church was built in 1079, another church, dedicated to the same saint, occupied the same spot, which was near a Christian burial space. The dedication of the present church took place in 1146.
In the course of the centuries the church underwent several reconstructions and renovations. In the 14th century the 12th century façade of the church was made higher, following the example of the city’s cathedral. The portico was added in the 16th century.
The facade was restored in 1907 and after World War II the interior was also redone.
The interior consists of three naves. The, slightly raised, presbytery is above the crypt.
The crypt itself also consists of three naves, separated by reused medieval and Roman capitals.
The 12th century bell tower stands to the right of the facade. It is built with reused materials from ancient Roman ruins. Toward the end of the 15th century it was raised.
The three arches on the upper part of the facade were added in the 14th century.
The portal was added in 1597.
The chapel to the left part of portico is called Cappella degli Innocenti. It was built in the 14th century. The frescoes decorating it are probably painted by Angelucci di Mevale and depict “events from the life of Santa Abbondanza”, such as “Santa Abbondanza having the church built in order to bury the martyrs” and “Martyrdom of Saints thrown from the Ponte Sanguinario”. In one scene you can see 14th century Spoleto, with all its monuments, in the background.
Saint Abbondanza herself financed construction of the church and is buried there probably in the sarcophagus in the left apse of the crypt.
A plaque near the entrance claims that 10,000 martyrs, having been moved from the Christian burial place, are buried in the church.
The architrave is decorated with a cross between two lions and plant and peacock-motives.
The 20th century restoration caused the removal of several baroque decorations, which brought the original frescoes back to light. The oldest ones were painted in the 12th century and can be seen on the interior wall of the facade and in the central apse.
Several of the other walls and columns inside the church show 12th to 14th century frescoes.
The columns in the presbytery were taken from Roman ruins.
The “Madonna with Child and Angels with Eve” in the presbytery was painted by Maestro della Dormitio, a 14th-15th century artist from Terni.
The cloister was constructed in the 16th century and is surrounded by two levels of arches supported by octagonal pillars.
Near the San Gregorio Maggiore Kerk
- The Monument for Giuseppe Garibaldi can be seen on the square in front of the church.