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Elenchi professioni turistiche anno 2015

FORMER CONVENT OF SAN FRANCESCO

Antica foto dell'ex Convento di San Francesco, secolo scattata verso le Mura Castellane
Convent of San Francesco, 13th-16th centuries, on the boundary walls side (from G. Ottavi’s photo archive)

The ex-convent of the Franciscan Observant Friars Minor of San Francesco is situated on Via G. Garibaldi, nearby Piazza Bergalucci, previously named after S. Agnese.

The edifice, though ruined to a large extent, shows the earlier structure of a medieval castle. Inside the structure, in the first half of the thirteenth century was found the earlier monastery; it became a possession of the Clarisse Nuns in 1245 and assigned to the Franciscans in 1554.

At the drawing up of the deed took part both Brother Andrea and Brother Bernardo, two friars that, as Allevi told, were staying at the Clarisses’, since there were no Franciscan convents in Offida, yet. Pope Gregorio IX (1170-1241) with a bull of the 28th of October, 1239 had confirmed such donation, even though this had been done without the authorization of the abbot of Farfa, to which the monastery of S. Maria was subject.

The Clarisses, once the small church devoted to S. Agnese had been demolished, had the new church and the convent built, dedicating them to S. Francesco and, in 1245, moved to the new convent.

Pope Innocenzo IV (1195-1254), with the bulls of the 23rd of October and the 11th of November, 1245 had confirmed the donation of 1236 and in June of 1246 subjected the monastery of San Francesco to the direction and the rule of the Friars Minor.

The Clarisses lived in the monastery up to 1515.

That year Pope Leo X (1474-1521), with a bull, entrusted monsignor. Roberto Tibaldeschi, bishop of Civita in Calabria and vice-legate of the Marca with the delicate task of investigating on the presumed immoralities and bad habits of the nuns.

Foto del chiostro dell'ex convento di San Francesco
Cloister of San Francesco

That same year the religious Community was suppressed; both the monastery and the building, with the church, were assigned to the Franciscans that definitely got hold of them in 1554.

The entire edifice was restored and altered in 1775, as reported in the town council proceedings. As stated in a town council session of the 7th of March, 1781 the friars were still lodging in the convent of San Francesco.

The Order was definitely suppressed during the Napoleonic era. The information comes from records gathered in 1856 by the Fathers of the Province.

Once the papal rule had been restored, the edifice returned to the Franciscans. In 1866 the law of general suppression of the Regular Orders was passed.

For this reason the Commune of Offida asked the competent authorities to be allowed to turn the convent into school premises for elementary schools and kindergarten. On the 27th of July, 1870 after long negotiations between the local authorities and the Ministry, the church together with the convent and the outbuildings were assigned to the Commune of Offida.

In 1872, after vain attempts to turn the building into a school, part of the convent became a District Jail. In 1906 the church too was deconsecrated, and part of it was used as mill, the rest as bakery.

Today, thanks to the restoration of the whole building at the behest of the Municipal Administration, the ex-convent has become the main seat for social and cultural events as well as for tourism. Besides it has housed, in the inside rooms, the Enoteca Regionale of the Marches (Regional Wine Shop and Tasting Room) as from 1999.

Foto dell'interno dell'ex convento di San Francesco ora adibito ad Enoteca Regionale delle Marche
Interior of the former convent which now houses the Enoteca(wine shop and tasting room