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.Make Santa Maria sopra Minerva part of your personalized Assisi itinerary using our Assisi day trip planning site.
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).
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Santa Maria sopra Minerva Reviews
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 »
Serere atmosphere inside.
Boring church, should let its pagan roots blossom
Places to stay near Santa Maria sopra Minerva
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17 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, popular sights PREFERENCES: June ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 19 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 15 days in Umbria BY A USER FROM CANADA July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 60 days in Italy BY A USER FROM BRAZIL March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, hidden gems PREFERENCES: March, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Assisi BY A USER FROM MALTA July, popular sights PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 44 days in Italy BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular sights PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium