Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Assisi

4.4
#19 of 122 in Things to do in Assisi
The Temple of Minerva (Italian: Tempio di Minerva) is an ancient Roman building in Assisi, Umbria, central Italy. It currently houses a church, Santa Maria sopra Minerva, built in 1539 and renovated in Baroque style in the 17th century.


The temple was built in the 1st century BC by will of Gnaeus Caesius and Titus Caesius Priscus, who were two of the city's quattuorviri and also financed the construction. The attribution to the goddess Minerva derives from the finding of a female statue, although a dedication stone to Hercules has been found, and the temple was likely dedicated to this male demi-god. In the Middle Ages the temple housed a tribunal with an annexed jail, as testified by one of Giotto's frescoes in the St. Francis Basilica, which portrays the church windows with bars.


Of the ancient temple, the façade has been preserved, with six Corinthian columns supporting the architrave and a small pediment. The columns were originally covered by a very strong plaster, which was perhaps colored. The cella was completely demolished during the church's construction, in the 16th century, while a small section of the temple was found in the 20th century near the altar.


The temple was visited and described by the German poet Goethe during his travels in Italy, as the first ancient structure in good condition seen during his life (1786).
Make Santa Maria sopra Minerva part of your personalized Assisi itinerary using our Assisi day trip planning site.
Source
Create an itinerary including Santa Maria sopra Minerva
map
© OpenMapTiles © OpenStreetMap contributors
Santa Maria sopra Minerva Reviews
Rate this attraction
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
255 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • Outside isn't much to look at, but the interior of this ancient pagan temple is a beauty to behold. Worth the stop  more »
  • I walked past this building several times without knowing what it was, until I entered one fine morning to take a peek. The exterior was an ancient Roman style, whilst the interior was Baroque...  more »
Google
  • Serere atmosphere inside.
  • Boring church, should let its pagan roots blossom
Places to stay near Santa Maria sopra Minerva

Plan your trip to Assisi

  • Get a personalized plan

    A complete day-by-day itinerary
    based on your preferences
  • Customize it

    Refine your plan. We'll find the
    best routes and schedules
  • Book it

    Choose from the best hotels
    and activities. Up to 50% off
  • Manage it

    Everything in one place.
    Everyone on the same page.

Hidden gems in Assisi

5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.3
Duration:1 h
4.8
Duration:1 h 30 min

Historic Sites in Assisi

See all ›
4.7
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.8
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.5
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.9
Duration:1 h 30 min

Side trips from Assisi

4.8
Duration:2 h 30 min
4.9
Duration:5 h
4.8
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min

Shopping in Assisi

See all ›
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min

Nearby attractions in Assisi

4.4
Duration:4 h
4.7
Duration:3 h
4.6
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.4
Duration:1 h 30 min
5.0
Duration:1 h 30 min
4.9
Duration:4 h
4.8
Duration:30 min