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“Basilica di Santa Chiara” – Assisi

Opposite the Basilica of San Francesco and at the other end of Assisi, Italy, is the “Basilica di Santa Chiara” or Basilica of Saint Clair. “Chiara Offreduccio” was the eldest daughter of the Count of Sasso-Rosso and as well being a follower of and protected by “San Francesco”. In the 13th century she founded the Order of Saint Clair, originally under the name of the Order of the Poor Ladies of Saint  Damian, in a manner much like the Franciscan monks.

The Basilica in honor of Santa Clair was built on the grounds of the Saint George Church between 1257 and 1260. Both were merged under one roof, turning the old church into a Chapel inside the Basilica. For its construction they used as a model the Upper Basilica of “San Francesco”. For the three sections of its facade, they used white and pink stones from Mount Subasio.

It is of a single nave and a polygonal apse. As a result of whitewashing done in the 18th century, virtually all the original frescoes of the church disappeared. The “Basilica di Santa Chiara” has its own square, similar to a terrace, overlooking the Umbrian Valley. The remains of Santa Clair are buried under the Main Altar of the Basilica.

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