Royal Basilica of Saint Francis the Great

This neoclassical style monumental basilica, close to the popular La Latina quarter, stands out for its artistic wealth that it houses inside, with canvases by Goya or Zurbarán, as well as its impressive dome, the largest in Spain and the fourth in Europe, behind Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Pantheon, both in Rome, and the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower, in Florence.

Declared a National Monument in 1980, the temple rises up, according to tradition, on the land that was offered to Saint Francis of Assisi following his time in Madrid in 1214 on his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. On this site, three temples were erected prior to the current one, which dates back to the 18th century and which was carried out by the Franciscan Order. Between 1776 and 1784, its construction was completed under the management of Francisco Sabatini.

The church consists of a central circular floor covered by a large dome with a diameter of 33 metres and a height of 58 metres, a main chapel and six surrounding chapels also covered by domes. Inside, there is a large collection of paintings by Spanish artists from the 18th and 19th centuries, such as Goya, Zurbarán, Casto Plasencia, Francisco Jover, Martínez Cubells, José del Castillo, Moreno Carbonero, Eugenio Oliva, Menéndez Pidal, González Velázquez, Gregorio Ferro, Gaspar Crayer, Vicente Carducci, Antonio Carnicero, Alonso Cano or Lucas Jordán, as well as important sculptures in white marble.

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