Loquis: Greccio Convent

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Greccio Convent


Published on:  2018-03-09 06:49:00


Set in a holm-oak wood on the side of a mountain that dominates the Valle Santa, the oldest part of the convent dates back to the time of the saint's preaching. The rest of the buildings were put up between 1260 and 1270. It was here that the saint staged the Saviour's nativity scene for the first time ever in the Christian tradition, using real-life people and animals. We can find a 14th-century fresco that recalls this event in the Chapel of the Crib, above the altar. The chapel provides access to the kitchens, refectory and the friars' first dormitory with the cell where Francis used to sleep on the bare rock. The first floor is home to the oratory of St. Bonaventure, one of the first churches dedicated to St. Francis, possibly in 1228 the year of his canonisation. The same floor is also home to the former dormitory (1260-1270) comprising bare wooden cells. A mule track leads from the convent to the top of Mount San Francesco - a climb of approximately two hours – where a chapel from 1792 recalls the saint's place of mystical meditation. The town of Greccio and its Franciscan sanctuary were recently included by UNESCO among the 754 sites forming part of humanity's World Heritage.

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