Lactans Lady (XIII century). Roman Cloister (XIII century). Adoration of the Magi (1650) by P. da Cortona. Part. fresco of S. Sebastiano (XV cen.)

             The Monastero of San Francesco was built in 1235 by Altrude and Margherita Rebursa, noble women of Aversa, in the burgh of Sant'Andrea outside the wall, on the area of the Castle of Riccardo Rebursa. Among the names of the abbesses that ran the convent those of the magnate families of Aversa appear: Del Tufo, Mormile, Lucarelli, Merenda.
            Of the big convent little is left since, in the Ia half of this century, following the suppression of the convents, the big cloister and part of the Belvedere of the Monache, were dispossessed to give order to the actual piazza Municipio.
            The primitive structure is present in a wing of the Romanesque cloister, with characteristic mullioned windows with two lights with coupled small columns, and in the Gothic one (1306). The reconstruction of the church in 1645 that presents marbles enchased polychrome ornaments and splendid altars, among which the bigger one predominates, is very interesting; the plasters, that finish the vault of the nave and the dome, date back to the intervention of 1753.
            The church, among the most beautiful of the city, strictly emulates the church of San Martino in Naples by Cosimo Fansago.
            The pronaos presents a frescoed beady of baroque style, the
Estasi of San Francesco, Santa Chiara and four small puttos in the panaches of the vault at the beginning of the XVIII century and a precious ligneous door ('600), with the panels of San Francesco and Santa Chiara. Inside, in the Ia right chapel the gaudy marble decoration frames, on the altar, the cloth of the Assunzione of Maria, of the seventeenth century and the frescos, the Morte and the Morte and the Assunzione della Vergine; in the following, a beautiful Annunciazione of '600, with the Sogno di Giuseppe and the Visitazione; in the third, the Immacolata Concezione, by Lorenzo Ruggi (1671), a scholar of Luca Giordano, and frescos of the Natività della Vergine and of the Presentazione al Tempio. In the transept two big paintings of Francesco De Mura, Santa Chiara puts the Saraceni and the Pentecoste in escape, both of 1764; the fine high altar (XVII sec.), of polychrome marbles and the interesting ciborium of gilded wood, decorate the cloth of San Francesco in glory, by «Jusepe de Ribera Valentianus / / F. 1642»; other frescos of the apse reproduce episodes of the life of Santa Chiara and, in the middle, a Gloria of Sant'Antonio by Giustino Lombardo from the school of Solimene. On the left side, in the third chapel, an organ of gilded wood of the eighteenth century; in the following, on each side the Episodi della vita di Gesù and, on the altar, the very fine Adorazione of the pastors of «PETRUS BERRETTINUS / CORTONENSIS» (around 1650); in the Ia chapel, frescos with Storie of Cristo and, on the altar, a precious deposed Christ by Paolo De Majo (half '700).
            In the
Sacristy, among the ligneous closets, the interesting cloth with Santa Chiara in glory by Leonardo Olivieri and two ligneous Crocifissi of '700 are arched.
            In the
Romanesque cloister, there are frescos of medieval period: in the first bay, a Madonna col Bambino and Santi (XIII century), in that following, Santa Chiara and other religious (XIV sec.), the faces of two Profeti of cavallinian school are fine. In the following wing of the cloister we can enter the subterranean Cemetery in which the "drainers", are still observable where the corpses of the nuns were deposed.
            In the inferior choir, placed at the extremity of the wing, a precious table of the
Madonna Lactans, according to the style of Guido da Siena, is kept.
            On the landing of the first floor there are other frescos:
Madonna con Bambino and Santi, San Sebastiano, Sant'Antonio Abate and San Rocco (XV century). In the superior choir, in the middle of the ceiling, a praying San Francesco from Flemish school, the '500. From the balcony it is possible to see the ancient Romanesque bell tower and the beautiful dome covered with glazed tiles.

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Artistic-monumental patrimony