The work of Sabatini in Madrid: The Royal Basilica of San Francisco el Grande

Built between the years of 1761 and 1784, the church was built on the same site as an earlier Franciscan Order convent, which, rumor has it, was founded by Saint Francis of Assisi in the year 1217. In 1760, the Franciscan Order had the original building demolished and undertook a new project to construct the basilica. Built in a Neoclassical style, Sabatini becomes involved with the church at a later date. Previously, the church’s interior, which has paintings by Goya and Zurbaran and the dome were constructed. The dome, incidentally, caused a lot of headaches due to the technical difficulties involved. It is one of the world’s largest domes and the third largest one in Christendom, being surpassed by only the Pantheon of Agrippa and Saint Peter’s, both in Rome. Sabatini was placed in charge of the building´s façade and the two towers. Although lesser known than the Royal Palace which is close by, it’s well worth a visit as you go running by it and get to know Madrid better with Madrid Running Tours!

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