San Salvatore Basilica Spoleto

The San Salvatore Basilica in Spoleto is the first church in the city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is located just outside the city itself.

San Salvatore Basilica Spoleto

Address, opening hours and admission

Address: Basilica di San Salvatore – Via della Basilica S. Salvatore – 06049 Spoleto (tel. +39 0743223833). Opening hours: March, april, september, october from 07.00 till 18.00; june till august and november till february from monday to saturday from 07.00 till 19.00 and sundays and holidays from 08.00 till 19.00. Admission: Free.

History

The Basilica of San Salavatore was built in the 4th century. It is one of few relatively intact early Christian buildings in the city. Originally it was dedicated to the saints Concordio and Senzia. The name was changed in the 8th century, after the Lombards had restored the church. The direct motive for the change was a depiction of Christ (the Italian word for “redeemer” is salvatore) above the high altar.

At some point between the 13th and the 17th centuries the church got its original name back.

In the 18th century the drum and the dome were added.

In the 2oth century many of the restorations the church had undergone in the course of the centuries were nullified. The dedication to San Salvatore was also restored.

Description

The facade, the apse and the presbytery are the only pats of the original 4th century church that are still intact.

The facade has three marble entrances. The architraves above the portals are decorated with plant motives and made of reused Roman architectural elements. The top part has three windows, the central one arched and the outer ones with architraves.

The interior consists of three naves, separated by Doric (except in the presbytery, where they are Corinthian) columns. The apse of the central nave is round, the other ones are square. The columns themselves were probably taken from an even older Roman temple and are supported by 8th century walls.

The Benedictine convent next to the basilica is now part of the cemetery.

Highlight San Salvatore Church Spoleto

The 15th century fresco in the apse of the right nave depicts “God giving his blessing with the Madonna and San Cordio and San Sebastiano”.

There is also another fresco depicting the “Madonna and Child and Saint”, which was painted in the 13th century.

The 16th century “Crucifixion” was made by the workshop of Spagna.

San Salvatore Basilica, Spoleto

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