Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi
The Papal Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is the mother church of the Roman Catholic Franciscan Order, and is located in Assisi, Italy, the city where St. Francis was born and died. The basilica is one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in Italy.
The basilica, which was begun in 1228, is built into the side of a hill and comprises two churches known as the Upper Church and the Lower Church, and a crypt where the remains of the saint are interred. On the morning of September 26, 1997, two earthquakes hit that region of Italy in rapid succession, registering 5.5 and 6.1 respectively on the Richter Scale. There was widespread devastation and many ancient buildings were destroyed or damaged. The church was closed for two years for restoration.