Church of St. Nicholas, Assisi


The Church of St. Nicholas in the Piazza was once located in Assisi’s main square. It was dedicated to St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, whose relics were brought to Italy in 1087. It was a small Romanesque style building with a single nave and a rectangular crypt that can still be seen today. The crypt was divided into two naves by two columns, has a vaulted ceiling and stone walls.

The bottom part of the walls is from the Roman era, built of large blocks. The church building was constructed around 1087-1093 and in St. Francis’ day it was the only church on the Piazza de Mercato (Market Square). It is also noteworthy to mention that it was in this church that St. Francis of Assisi and his first follower(s) first consulted the Gospel.

In 1575 the “Company of the Dead” was founded here. In 1832, following an earthquake, the church was no longer used for worship; it was then turned into the barracks for the Papal Carabinieri and then became the property of the commune of Assisi. In 1929 the barracks were demolished and the building housing the Post Office and City offices (now an information center) were constructed on its site. Today there is only the crypt remaining.

Written by Giovanni Rinolfi, translated from Italian